Oscar Pistorius

Ballistics investigator testifies at Oscar Pistorius trial

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Oscar Pistorius fired at a slightly downward angle when he fatally shot his girlfriend last year, a police ballistics investigator testified at the double amputee Olympian’s murder trial Tuesday.

Pistorius and the prosecution agree that he was not wearing his prosthetic legs when he shot through his bathroom door on the early morning of Valentine’s Day 2013, killing Reeva Steenkamp.

South African police Capt. Christian Mangena said he reconstructed the scene of the shooting inside Pistorius’ Pretoria home one month later.

Mangena received and reassembled the broken bathroom door that Pistorius shot through from the outside, brought the door back inside Pistorius’ house and measured the height of four bullet holes.

One of the bullets left a ricochet mark on a wall inside the bathroom where Steenkamp was hit. Mangena said he used a rod and laser to determine that Pistorius fired that shot from a downward angle of five to six degrees.

Mangena also said he was present when height measurements of Pistorius with and without his prosthetic legs were taken.

The highest bullet mark on the door was 104.3cm. Pistorius stood 184cm with his prosthetic legs and 155cm without them, Mangena said. His elbow level was 126cm with his prosthetic legs and 96cm without them.

Pistorius said that when he shot, he was not wearing his prosthetic legs and felt extremely vulnerable, believing he was firing at an intruder inside his locked bathroom. The State argued last year that Pistorius was wearing his prosthetic legs, but the prosecution now believes Pistorius was not wearing them as he said.

Pistorius, the first double amputee to run in the Olympics in 2012, could face 25 years to life in prison if convicted of premeditated murder.

The trial is expected to resume at 3:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday.

Here’s NBC News’ coverage of the Pistorius trial.

Ireland’s history at the Olympics

Yuzuru Hanyu sets short program record; Wagner in medal territory at NHK Trophy

Yuzuru Hanyu
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Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu set the new short program world record – raising his own world record by about five points from when he set it in Sochi – to lead the men’s field at the NHK Trophy in Nagano, Japan.

The 20-year-old landed two clean quads, one in combination, and a triple Axel in front of a home crowd. In his other Grand Prix appearance, two of those three jumps received zero points.

China’s Jin Boyang and Hanyu’s countryman Takahito Mura sit in second and third place, respectively, though Hanyu has built a 10-point lead heading into tonight’s free program. Jin landed two quads and a triple Axel cleanly, a program that surely would lead in any other field, while Mura was clean, too.

By holding off the competition, which seems likely, Hanyu can clinch a berth into the Grand Prix Final, where he is reigning champion.

Richard Dornbush and Grant Hochstein are the only U.S. men in the competition, as Jason Brown withdrew due to a back sprain. Dornbush is seventh and Hochstein is eighth before tonight’s free program.

2015 Worlds silver medalist Satoko Miyahara of Japan leads the ladies’ field after the short program over the other Japanese skater highlighting the field, Mao Asada (currently fourth), and two of the U.S.’ skaters. Courtney Hicks is second while Ashley Wagner is third. Vancouver Olympian Mirai Nagasu is fifth.

Miyahara landed three triples in her short program, compared to Hicks and Wagner, who both turned out of their planned triple-triple combinations. Nagasu was relatively clean in her short program. Asada fell on her signature triple Axel attempt and singled her planned triple Lutz.

Asada made her return to competition this season after winning the 2014 World title but skipping the subsequent season. Both Asada and Wagner can clinch berths to the Grand Prix Final by winning medals of any color in tonight’s free program. More on that process here.

It seems it is impossible to discuss figure skating results without mentioning the Russian dominance in the ladies’ field; however, in the short program, their competitors sat a lackluster seventh, ninth, and 11th in a field of 11. Russia’s Maria Artemieva, Alena Leonova and Anna Pogorilaya each had at least one fall in their short programs.

Canadian pairs team Meaghan Duhamel and Eric Radford are in the hunt for their ninth straight international win and a Grand Prix Final berth – a feat made a lot easier after the withdrawl of Olympic pairs champs Tatyana Volosozhar and Maksim Trankov of Russia. The Canadian pair leads over Alexa Scimeca and Chris Knierim of the United States, currently second, also looking for a berth with a medal in Japan.

Men’s free skate — Saturday, 2:30 a.m. ET (start order here)
Women’s free skate — Saturday, 5:35 a.m. ET (start order here)

Russia vows to follow all WADA recommendations on doping

Russia Olympic Committee
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MOSCOW (AP) Russia says it will follow any recommendations from the World Anti-Doping Agency to clean up its own troubled drug-testing body.

A WADA commission’s report this month accused the Russian anti-doping agency, RUSADA, of covering up failed drug tests by top athletes. RUSADA was suspended by WADA following the report’s publication.

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko met WADA director general David Howman in Germany on Thursday.

According to an account of the meeting posted by the ministry, Mutko said Russia would “follow all recommendations from WADA aimed at the necessary transformations in the activities and structure of RUSADA.”

The ministry also quoted Howman as saying he welcomed Mutko’s assurances “with pleasure.”

Russia’s track and field team was also suspended this month by the IAAF and could miss next year’s Olympics in Brazil.

MORE: Ashton Eaton named male IAAF Athlete of the Year