Oscar Pistorius’ prosthetic leg used in testimony

Oscar Pistorius' leg

The prosthetic leg Oscar Pistorius said he used to kick at his locked bathroom door after he fatally shot his girlfriend last year was held and inspected by a forensic analyst at the athlete’s murder trial Thursday.

Forensic analyst Roger Dixon was testifying about varnish and sock fibers from when Pistorius kicked the door on Valentine’s Day 2013 when lead prosecutor Gerrie Nel had Dixon handle the prosthetic leg with a sock over the foot.

Dixon, who had never seen the prosthetic leg outside photographs, peeled off the sock. It was not the original sock Pistorius had on when he kicked the door.

He held the leg at the ankle, foot facing up, and compared a mark on the bottom of the foot to a mark on the door, which stood a few feet from Dixon in the witness box. Dixon continued holding the leg and then placed it on the ledge in front of him as he answered questions for nearly another hour.

Pistorius, the first double amputee to run in the Olympics in 2012, faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted of premeditated murder of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Pistorius said he thought Steenkamp was an intruder when he shot through a locked bathroom door, hitting her four times on the early morning of Valentine’s Day 2013. The prosecution asserts he knowingly shot Steenkamp after an argument.

If not found guilty of premeditated murder, Pistorius could be convicted of culpable homicide, South Africa’s version of manslaughter for negligent killing.

The trial is now on break until May 5, though Judge Thokozile Masipa stressed at the end of Thursday’s session that more daily hours must be put in once it resumes. The trial is scheduled to last to mid-May. The defense could still call 14 more witnesses.

Masipa also issued a warning at the beginning of Thursday’s session.

“Something disturbing has come to my attention,” she said. “I believe the people in [the overflow room] are unruly. They climb on top of the benches. They cheer. They boo. They do what they like. I just want to remind them [the overflow room] is an extension of this court. You behave as well as the people in this court.”

Dixon also testified Thursday that one of the four fired bullets hit Steenkamp in the head as she was falling to the floor in the bathroom.

Pistorius hunched over and held his hands over his ears during testimony about Steenkamp’s wounds, as he has often in the first 25 days of the trial.

Dixon, whose credentials were disputed by Nel in questioning the last two days, said he’s been getting hate mail about the trial.

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

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2022 Ironman Kona World Championships results

Ironman Kona World Championships

2022 Ironman Kona World Championship top-10 results and notables (full, searchable pro and age group results are here) …

Pro Women
1. Chelsea Sodaro (USA) — 8:33:46
2. Lucy Charles-Barclay (GBR) — 8:41:37
3. Anne Haug (GER) — 8:42:22
4. Laura Philipp (GER) — 8:50:31
5. Lisa Norden (SWE) — 8:54:43
6. Fenella Langridge (GBR) — 8:56:26
7. Sarah Crowley (AUS) — 9:01:58
8. Daniela Ryf (SUI) — 9:02:26
9. Skye Moench (USA) — 9:04:31
10. Laura Siddall (GBR) — 9:07:49
16. Heather Jackson (USA) — 9:22:17
DNF. Sarah True (USA)

Pro Men
Race is on Saturday, live on Peacock at 12 p.m. ET.

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Chelsea Sodaro wins Ironman Kona World Championship, ends American drought

Chelsea Sodaro

Chelsea Sodaro was the surprise winner of the Ironman Kona World Championships women’s race, ending the longest American victory drought in the event’s 44-year history.

Sodaro, a 33-year-old mom to an 18-month-old, prevailed in an unofficial 8 hours, 33 minutes, 46 seconds on Hawaii’s Big Island.

“My mind is a little bit blown right now,” she said in a finish area interview 25 minutes later, standing next to her daughter, Skylar. “This is the culmination of things being right in my life and having perspective. … This is freakin’ incredible, but the greatest gift at the end of the finish line is my little 18-month-old.”

Sodaro was in fifth place after the 2.6-mile swim and 112-mile bike, then recorded one of the fastest 26.2-mile marathon runs in event history (2:51:45) to win by 7 minutes, 50 seconds over Brit Lucy Charles-Barclay.

Swiss Daniela Ryf, who was eyeing her sixth Ironman world title, led after the bike but faded quickly on the run.

MORE: Ironman Kona Race Results

Sodaro, whose lone previous full Ironman was a second-place finish at June’s European Championships (reportedly in the second-fastest Ironman distance debut in history), became the first American to win in Kona since Tim DeBoom in 2002 and the first American to win the women’s race since Zimbabwean-turned-American Paula Newby-Fraser in 1996.

She is the first woman or man to win in their Kona debut since Brit Chrissie Wellington took the first of her four titles in 2007.

Sodaro (née Reilly) was an All-America runner at Cal, then placed 19th in the 10,000m at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials.

She turned to triathlon in 2017, made podiums on the World Cup circuit (just below the top-level World Series for Olympic hopefuls) and moved up to long-distance racing in 2018.

At the half Ironman distance, she was fourth at the 2019 World Championships, her last major championship start before the pandemic, pregnancy, childbirth and a move up to the full Ironman this year.

“I’m pretty stoked that I think I maybe get to take the rest of the year off and be a mom for a month or so,” Sodaro said.

The pro men’s race is Saturday, live on Peacock at 12 p.m. ET.

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