Oscar Pistorius

Oscar Pistorius’ restaurant gun incident recounted at murder trial; Day 3 recap (video)

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Oscar Pistorius‘ murder trial shifted focus to a January 2013 restaurant incident, when he accidentally shot a gun under a table and convinced a friend to take the blame, according to a witness.

Three witnesses testified Wednesday about a lunch incident at a Johannesburg restaurant — professional boxer Kevin Lerena (who was part of the four-man party including Pistorius at the table) and the restaurant’s owner and wife.

The group members at the table were Lerena, Pistorius, two-time British Olympic 400m runner Martyn Rooney and Darren Fresco. Fresco passed a gun under the table to Pistorius, who accidentally shot it, grazing Lerena’s foot and putting a hole through the floor, Lerena said.

Pistorius apologized, asked if everybody was OK and, before anybody came to the table, asked Fresco to take the blame for the gunshot. Pistorius cited the amount of media hype around him when asking Fresco, Lerena said. Fresco obliged.

The incident could affect the judgment of the murder charge against Pistorius for shooting and killing girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on the early morning of Valentine’s Day 2013 in Pretoria. Pistorius fired a gun in both cases and did not own up to the restaurant shooting, according to Lerena’s testimony.

Pistorius, the first double amputee to run at the Olympics in 2012, has said he thought Steenkamp was an intruder in his bathroom when he shot four times through the door and killed her last year.

The prosecution asserts Pistorius shot her after a fight. Pistorius could face life in prison if convicted of premeditated murder with a minimum of 25 years.

The trial is scheduled to resume Thursday at 2:30 a.m. ET.

Here’s NBC News’ full recap from Wednesday.

Here’s video of Lerena describing the silence and shock of the restaurant gun incident and Pistorius asking Fresco to take the blame:

Here’s audio of the restaurant owner’s wife saying she hit Fresco over the head after reminding him of gun safety:

Here’s some atmosphere from Pretoria via Twitter:

Here are photos from Pretoria via The Associated Press:

source: AP
Pistorius is mobbed by media as he is escorted by police outside court.
source: AP
Defense attorney Barry Roux talks with Pistorius.
source: AP
Pistorius places his hand over his face while sitting in the dock in court.

Video: Ato Boldon offers perspective on Oscar Pistorius

Chloe Dygert crashes over guard rail, fails to finish world championships time trial

Chloe Dygert
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American Chloé Dygert crashed over a guard rail and failed to finish the world road cycling championships time trial, where she appeared en route to a repeat title in Imola, Italy.

Dygert, who last year won by the largest margin in history as the youngest-ever champion, lost control of her bike while approaching a curve to the right. Her front wheel bobbled, and she collided with the barricade, flipping over into an area with grass.

Dygert, her legs appearing bloodied, was tended to by several people, put on a stretcher and taken toward an ambulance.

“All we know is that she is conscious and talking,” according to USA Cycling, about 25 minutes after the crash. “More updates to come.”

About 10 minutes after the crash, Dutchwoman Anna van der Breggen won her first time trial title.

Van der Breggen took silver the last three years behind Dygert and countrywoman Annemiek van Vleuten, who missed this year’s race after breaking her wrist last week in the Giro Rosa.

Dygert, 23, had a 26-second lead at the 14-kilometer time check of the 31-kilometer race. Full results are here.

Dygert qualified for the Tokyo Olympics when she won last year’s world time trial title. She has been bidding to make the Olympics on the road and the track.

Worlds continue Friday with the men’s time trial airing on Olympic Channel and NBC Sports Gold for Cycling Pass subscribers at 8:15 a.m. ET. A full TV schedule is here.

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MORE: USA Cycling names Olympic team finalists

Diamond League slate ends in Doha with record holders; TV, stream info

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The Diamond League season ends on Friday in the place where it was supposed to start — Doha.

Like many sports, track and field’s calendar was put in disarray by the coronavirus pandemic. The Doha meet, originally scheduled for April 17 to open an Olympic season, was postponed five months while other stops were canceled altogether.

Now, Doha caps an unlikely season that still produced stirring performances. NBCSN coverage starts at 12 p.m. ET. NBC Sports Gold also streams live for subscribers.

The headliner is Swedish pole vaulter Mondo Duplantis, a leading contender for Male Athlete of the Year. Duplantis, who twice bettered the world record in February at indoor meets, last week produced the highest outdoor clearance in history, too, breaking a 26-year-old Sergey Bubka record.

Duplantis can mimic Bubka on Friday by attempting to raise his world record another centimeter — to 6.19 meters, or more than 20 feet, 3 inches.

The deepest track event in Doha is the finale, the women’s 3000m, featuring 3000m steeplechase world-record holder Beatrice Chepkoech, 5000m world champion Hellen Obiri and rising 1500m runner Gudaf Tsegay.

Here are the Doha entry lists. Here’s the schedule of events (all times Eastern):

11:18 a.m. ET — Men’s Pole Vault
11:33 — Men’s 200m
12:03 p.m. — Men’s 400m
12:08 — Women’s Long Jump
12:12 — Women’s 100m Hurdles
12:21 — Men’s 1500m
12:34 — Men’s 110m Hurdles
12:43 — Women’s 800m
12:56 — Women’s 100m
1:07 — Men’s 800m
1:18 — Women’s 3000m

Here are three events to watch (statistics via Tilastopaja.org):

Men’s Pole Vault — 11:18 a.m.
Duplantis looks to complete a perfect 2020 against his two primary rivals — reigning world champion and American Sam Kendricks (who went undefeated in 2017) and 2012 Olympic champion and former world-record holder Renaud Lavillenie of France. Kendricks was the last man to beat Duplantis, at those 2019 World Championships, and is the only man to clear a height within nine inches of Duplantis’ best this outdoor season.

Women’s 100m — 12:56 p.m.
Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah looks poised to finish the year as the world’s fastest woman after clocking 10.85 seconds in Rome last week, her fastest time outside of Jamaica in more than three years. That’s one hundredth faster than countrywoman Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce‘s best time of 2020. Thompson-Herah was fifth and fourth at the last two world championships after sweeping the Rio Olympic sprints. Like in Rome, her primary challengers in Doha are Ivorian Marie-Josée Ta Lou and 2018 U.S. champion Aleia Hobbs.

Women’s 3000m — 1:18 p.m.
A meeting of titans in a non-Olympic event. Chepkoech is the fastest steeplechaser in history by eight seconds. Obiri is the fastest Kenyan in history in the 3000m and the 5000m. Tsegay, just 23, chopped 3.26 seconds off her 1500m personal best in 2019, taking bronze at the world championships to become the second-fastest Ethiopian in history in that event. In all, the field includes five medalists from the 2019 Worlds across four different events.

MORE: Trayvon Bromell’s return from destruction, death to sprinting

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