Blade runner gets U.S. help for murder trial
October 2nd, 2013
04:40 AM ET

Blade runner gets U.S. help for murder trial

With his murder trial approaching this March, South African Olympic runner Oscar Pistorius has hired some help from the United States to challenge the case against him.

An American forensic team will give expert testimony to cast doubt on evidence entered against the athlete nicknamed the "blade runner" for the special prosthesis legs he sprints with, his spokeswoman Anneliese Burgess said Wednesday.

The track star, whose legs are amputated below the knees, admitted to shooting dead model Reeva Steenkamp, in his home on Valetine's Day. But he has said it was an accident.

She was 29 when she died.

Full story

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Filed under: Accidents • Crime • Gun Control • Gun violence • Oscar Pistorius • Oscar Pistorius • Running • South Africa • Sports • World • World Update
April 15th, 2013
12:35 PM ET

Ethiopia's Desisa, Kenya's Jeptoo win Boston Marathon

A strong kick won the Boston Marathon for Ethiopia's Lelisa Desisa.

Bunched up with two competitors with a mile left, Desisa pulled away in the last few blocks, winning the men's division Monday with a time of 2:10:22.

Kenya's Micah Kogo (2:10:27) and Ethiopia's Gebregziabher Gebremariam (2:10:28) finished second and third. American Jason Hartmann, of Colorado, finished fourth (2:12:12).

In the women's division, Kenya's Rita Jeptoo held off last year's champion to win her second Boston Marathon in seven years with a time of 2:26:25.

Last year's winner, Sharon Cherop of Kenya, finished third (2:27:01) behind Meseret Hailu of Ethiopia (2:26:58).

American Shalane Flanagan, of Oregon, finished fourth (2:27:08).

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Filed under: Boston • Massachusetts • Running • Sports
February 14th, 2013
10:30 AM ET

Oscar Pistorius charged with murder in death of model girlfriend

[Updated 10:30 a.m. ET] Olympic runner Oscar Pistorius has been charged with murder in the death of his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp, at his South Africa home early Thursday.

Pistorius, nicknamed the "Blade Runner," made history when he became the first Paralympian to compete in the able-bodied Olympics last year. Check our full story for the latest.

[Updated 8:03 a.m. ET] The suspect will appear in court Friday rather than today because the public prosecutor needs time to prepare the case, police spokeswoman Katlego Mogale told CNN.

The state will oppose bail, police spokeswoman Denise Beukes told reporters.

[Posted 2:45 a.m.] A woman was found fatally shot in the upscale Pretoria home of South African Olympian Oscar Pistorius, police said Thursday.

The victim was model Reeva Steenkamp, according to Capacity Relations, the agency that represents her. Steenkamp was Pistorius' girlfriend.

Police said they have arrested a 26-year-old man the same age as Pistorius in connection with the shooting, and that he will appear in Pretoria magistrate court sometime Thursday.

Pistorius, nicknamed the "Blade Runner," made history when he became the first Paralympian to compete in the able-bodied Olympics last year.

Police said Pistorius was cooperating with them.

FULL STORY
Sunday's New York City Marathon called off due to Sandy
Tens of thousands of runners annually hit New York City’s streets for the marathon – though not this Sunday.
November 2nd, 2012
05:23 PM ET

Sunday's New York City Marathon called off due to Sandy

The New York City Marathon - scheduled for Sunday - was called off Friday due to lingering effects from Superstorm Sandy, the city's mayor said.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg had said earlier in the week the race would go on - despite transportation, power and other issues - contending, among other things, that businesses could use the economic boost the event provides.

But on Friday, he and the New York Road Runners issued a joint statement saying city officials and race organizers decided to cancel the race because they did "not want a cloud to hang over the race or its participants."

Read the full story here on CNN.com.

Michael Johnson bucks courts findings, says 'friend' Pistorius shouldn't compete in London
South Africa's Oscar Pistorius has qualifed to run the individual 400 meter and the 4x400-meter relay in London.
July 18th, 2012
05:19 PM ET

Michael Johnson bucks courts findings, says 'friend' Pistorius shouldn't compete in London

With pals like Michael Johnson, does Oscar Pistorius need enemies?

Johnson, the former U.S. Olympic speed demon who now provides commentary for BBC, appears to be making a smooth transition from his days as Nike's "world's fastest man" to world's biggest mouth this summer.

Coming on the heels of curious statements about the descendants of slaves being athletically superior, Johnson is now saying it's "unfair" if Oscar Pistorius, aka Blade Runner, competes against able-bodied runners when it's not clear whether he has an advantage, according to the Telegraph in London.

The South African runner and his carbon fiber prosthetics are slated to compete in the individual 400 as well as the 4×400 relay in this summer's London Games.

"I consider Oscar a friend of mine, but he knows I am against him running because this is not about Oscar. It’s not about him as an individual; it is about the rules you will make and put in place for the sport which will apply to anyone, and not just Oscar," said Johnson, who holds the world record in the 400 and is a two-time Olympic gold medalist in the event.

The statement is in direct contention with scientists - and not just any scientists, but ones who actually monitored Pistorius as he ran the 400.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Olympics • Running • Sports • U.S. • United Kingdom
Kenyan men & women win, place, show at unseasonable Boston Marathon
The men's elite field heads out during the start of the 116th running of the Boston Marathon on Monday.
April 16th, 2012
12:31 PM ET

Kenyan men & women win, place, show at unseasonable Boston Marathon

The top three winners in the men's and women's divisions of Monday's Boston Marathon were all Kenyan, according to the race's website.

Wesley Korir, 29, was tops among the men with an unofficial time of 2:12:41. Levy Matebo, 22, and Bernard Kipyego, 25, finished at 2:13:06 and 2:13:13, respectively.

Sharon Cherop, 28, was the fastest among the women with an unofficial time of 2:31:50. Jemima Jelagat Sumgong, 27, and Giorgino Rono, 31, finished second and third with unofficial times of 2:31:52 and 2:33:09.

This year's Boston Marathon was held in abnormally high temperatures - so warm that race organizers took several steps to warn participants and allow those concerned about the heat to run next year instead.

The race, which began in 1897 and bills itself as the world's oldest annually contested marathon, is typically held in relatively cool weather. The average temperature for an April day in Boston is 47 degrees - with a usual high of 56 and low of 40 degrees - according to the city and National Weather Service. When this year's race finished, the temperature was in the mid-70s.

With its rolling hills, the Hopkinton-to-Boston course is often considered among the nation's most grueling marathons even in ideal racing conditions.

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Filed under: Kenya • Massachusetts • Running • Sports • U.S. • World
April 15th, 2012
02:34 PM ET

Boston Marathon officials issue heat warning

Monday's Boston Marathon may not be as crowded as some had anticipated with temperatures expected to approach 90 degrees.

The Boston Athletic Association is allowing runners to defer their entry into the race until the 2013 marathon as a way of discouraging some from taking on what could be dangerously hot weather.

Watch the video to see who race officials are doing to prepare for the heat and what advice they're giving to even the most seasoned marathoner who decides not to take the day off.

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Filed under: Boston • Massachusetts • Running • Sports
Gotta Watch: Racing with donuts, beer
A man crushes four donuts down into a more managable bite.
February 6th, 2012
12:54 PM ET

Gotta Watch: Racing with donuts, beer

To many of us, completing a running race is tough enough. But for others, just running the race isn't enough. Sometimes you've got to add something fun into the mix.  In today's Gotta Watch, we look at three races that won't be featured in this summer's London Olympics.

Five miles, 12 donuts - We did the math on this charity event involving Krispy Kreme donuts and a five-mile run. Participants run 2.5 miles, then have to eat a dozen donuts before resuming their run.  Think you could complete this race?

FULL POST

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Filed under: Dogs • Gotta Watch • Running • Sports
November 6th, 2011
02:58 PM ET

Kenyan, Ethiopian win this year's ING New York Marathon

New York City's annual tradition didn't disappoint this year, as a man from Kenya and a woman from Ethiopia won their respective divisions Sunday in the ING New York City Marathon, with Geoffrey Mutai setting a new course record - cutting nearly three minutes from the previous one.

Mutai finished at 2:05:06, according to the official website for the race, breaking the old record of 2:07:43 set by Ethiopia's Tesfaye Jifar in 2001, the website said.

Firehiwot Dado, 27, won the women's division in her first running of New York's marathon, with a time of 2:23:15, the website said.

Mutai, 30, also won the Boston Marathon in April, with a world record time of 2:03:02. That record is not recognized internationally, however, as the day's strong tailwinds and the course's incline drops fall outside of the International Association of Athletics Federations' record-setting regulations.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: New York • Running • Sports
Boy who ran marathons at 3 still worries filmmaker
Child marathoner Budhia Singh, of India, runs with then-coach Biranchi Das in the "Marathon Boy" documentary.
November 3rd, 2011
10:25 PM ET

Boy who ran marathons at 3 still worries filmmaker

Budhia Singh's sparkling athletic ability lifted the young marathoner from India’s slums to national stardom.

But his age he ran marathons and longer distances starting at 3 led to concerns about his well-being.

For Gemma Atwal, who filmed Budhia for five years, a crucial question was about how poverty in India could make such a young long-distance runner possible.

“In the West, it simply wouldn’t happen,” Atwal, whose documentary about Budhia made its TV debut Thursday night, said in a phone interview. “(My film is) about desperate poverty you can see the effects all the way through.”

“Marathon Boy,” which follows Budhia from 2005 to 2010 and explores a line that his mentor walked between benevolence and opportunism, premiered Thursday night on HBO after screenings at numerous film festivals. HBO will show it again Sunday at 1:30 p.m.

Budhia came to Atwal’s attention through a 2005 BBC article, which said the 3-year-old was running as many as 30 miles a day in eastern India’s Orissa state. Budhia’s mother, according to the BBC, had sold him to a man a year earlier for 800 rupees because she couldn’t provide for him.

FULL POST

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Filed under: India • Movies • Running • Sports
October 14th, 2011
02:49 PM ET

Man, 100, set to become oldest marathoner

A man who didn’t start running marathons until he was 89 is hoping to become the first undisputed centenarian known to have completed the 26.2-mile race.

Fauja Singh, 100, of the United Kingdom, is expected to run the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on Sunday in Canada. If he completes it, Guinness World Records will recognize him as the world’s oldest marathoner.

“He’s really happy, and looking forward to it,” his coach, Harmander Singh, told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

Guinness had recognized Dimitrion Yordanidis, 98, as the world’s oldest marathoner for running in Athens in 1976. Yordanidis isn’t among the records kept by the Association of Road Racing Statisticians, which already recognizes Fauja Singh as the oldest for the last marathon he ran, at age 93 in 2004.

Singh, nicknamed the Turbaned Tornado, took up running 20 years ago around the time he moved to England from India after losing his wife and son, the CBC and the marathon’s website say.

He began running marathons at 89, completing seven through age 93. He set the current world record for people 90 and older with a time of five hours, 40 minutes and four seconds in Toronto in 2003.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Canada • Running • Sports • United Kingdom
Tuesday's Most Intriguing - Football player, a lawyer and a Japanese figure skater
Attorney Paul Clement quit his job at a prominent law firm when the firm backed out of a controversial case.
April 26th, 2011
11:21 AM ET

Tuesday's Most Intriguing - Football player, a lawyer and a Japanese figure skater

PAUL CLEMENT
The former U.S. Solicitor General during the George W. Bush administration has resigned from his post at the Atlanta-based law firm of King and Spalding. According to NPR, Clement resigned as a partner at the firm after King and Spalding decided not to represent the House Republicans in their legal effort to support the Defense of Marriage Act. Earlier this year, the Obama administration announced that it would not defend the constitutionality of the law, which speaks against gay marriage. On Monday the law firm withdrew from the case and Clement resigned. "I resign out of the firm belief" that a lawyer should not abandon his client "because the client's legal position is extremely unpopular in certain quarters," Clement said in a statement.

ERIC LEGRAND
The Rutgers football player who was paralyzed in an October 2010 game at Meadowlands Stadium in New Jersey gave his first interview yesterday to journalists, insisting that he will some day walk again. LeGrand, a 20-year-old 6-2, 275-pound junior, broke his C3 and C4 vertebrae during a play against Army. While he uses a power chair that he guides with his mouth, LeGrand said that he's regained sensation in his body and can move his shoulder slightly. He lives with his mother in New Jersey, does therapy three times weekly and takes two classes via Skype. His sunny attitude is what contributes to his success, his mother told the New York Daily News. "He knows, 'Maybe playing football is something I'm not supposed to do,' " she said. "'I'm supposed to do something bigger than that.'"

MAO ASADA
The Japanese figure skater will defend her 2010 world championship title Tuesday in Moscow, rather than in Japan as originally scheduled. The 2011 World Figure Skating Championships were slated to begin March 21st in Tokyo, but Japan's earthquake on March 11 forced the International Skating Union to delay and relocate the competition. The Japanese athletes and coaches all wear stickers on their jackets that read "Rebirth Japan. We are always with you." Joining Asada will be Takahiko Kuzuka, Japan country's men's champion. He leads the men's competition going into Wednesday's short program by nearly 30 points.

CARL LEWIS
The U.S. Olympic Track Gold Medalist announced earlier this month that he would seek a seat in the New Jersey State Senate. In today's Philadelphia Inquirer, Lewis said that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie tried to dissuade Lewis from running hours before the announcement. The conversation with the governor came after several days of talks with Christie's staff, Lewis said. Staff members threatened that if Lewis decided to run, an athletic program he wanted to start would be scuttled. Christie's office is downplaying the accusations as a "silly" misinterpretation.

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Filed under: Football • Japan • Most Intriguing People • Running • Sports • Uncategorized
Sports Update: Can Lakers recover from Hornets sting?
After a loss to the Hornets, pressure on the Lakers swells.
April 18th, 2011
01:31 PM ET

Sports Update: Can Lakers recover from Hornets sting?

A 109-100 loss to the Hornets? Not exactly how the two-time defending champion L.A. Lakers were hoping to kick off their quest for another national title. But that's precisely where the team finds itself, one game down and facing the explosiveness of point guard Chris Paul, who racked up 33 points and 14 assists during a shocking Game 1 in the Western Conference.

As SI.com's Lee Jenkins explains, despite having a relatively lackluster season and going 0-4 against the Lakers, the Hornets blasted past a defense incapable of shutting down Paul. "He sandbagged the sandbaggers with a combination of crossovers, floaters and step-back jumpers that left the Lakers wondering who they had spent the past three days watching on film," Jenkins writes. "This was Paul, circa 2008, when he led the Hornets to 56 wins and ran figure-eights around the Mavericks in the first round."

While the Lakers acknowledged that Paul had the ability to dominate in at least one game of the series, the fact that Los Angeles saw their expected Game 1 win go up in a 41 minute blaze of Paul shooting was, well, surprising.

But the question pressing forward will be if the Hornets and, more specifically, high-scoring Paul, can keep up the performance that they showed Sunday at the Staples Center. If the Lakers are lucky, the answer will be no. NBA playoff action continues tonight.

Philadelphia 76ers vs. Miami Heat (7 p.m., ET) - "Will he or won't he?" is the question when it comes to Dwyane Wade and whether he'll join fellow Heat players when the team faces off against the 76ers tonight.

Indiana Pacers vs. Chicago Bulls (9:30 p.m., ET) The Pacers may have fallen 104-99 to the Bulls, but their performance definitely showed that the team is one to reckon with in Game 2.

By The Numbers

41 - Number of points scored by Kevin Durant in the Hornets upset of the Denver Nuggets Sunday night.

.002 - The official margin in seconds that Jimmie Johnson took the Talladega checkers over Clint Bowyer. It ties the closest finish since NASCAR went to electronic timing. Brant James recaps the race.

115 - Number of times the Boston Marathon has been run. The historic race kicks off today.


Filed under: Basketball • NBA • Running • Sports
Monday's Most Intriguing: Yemeni leader, Japan's power chief, record-setting runner
Yemen's Minister of Human Rights Huda al-Ban photographed in 2008.
March 21st, 2011
11:30 AM ET

Monday's Most Intriguing: Yemeni leader, Japan's power chief, record-setting runner

Huda al-Ban

Yemen's human rights minister resigned from her position Saturday after 44 demonstrators were killed in clashes with the government. Al-Ban said the Yemeni government committed a "horrible, cowardly, and perfidious crime." Others have resigned from their posts as well, including Yemen's ambassador to the United Nations and the head of the state news agency who is also a member of the ruling party.

Masataka Shimizu

The head of Tokyo Electric Power Co. has reportedly not appeared in public in a week, raising questions about whether he has control of the nuclear crisis in the country. The 66-year-old has not yet visited the Fukushima Daiichi plant in north Japan which is spewing radioactive smoke.  It was damaged in the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Three hundred workers are struggling to cool the reactors. According to Reuters, Japan’s Prime Minister Naoto Kan was overheard asking TEPCO executives, “What the hell is going on?” On Monday another reactor began emitting smoke at the plant, making it the third reactor, a nuclear official said. Workers had been trying to stop two other reactors from smoking, including a reactor that has fuel containing a small percentage of plutonium mixed with the uranium in its fuel rods which experts say could cause more harm than regular uranium fuels in the event of a meltdown. CNN.com is live blogging the crisis in Japan.

Markos Geneti

The 26-year-old Ethiopian braved one of the worst storms ever to hit on marathon day in Los Angeles, California, and ran away with first place, and a record win on Sunday. Geneti shocked everyone even more because he had The win was all the more impressive because Geneti had never raced a marathon before - 26.2 miles. He ran through shin-deep puddles in 2 hours, 6 minutes, 35 seconds, breaking the race record by almost two minutes, according to the L.A. Times.  The weather proved tough for other competitors. Many were taken to the hospital and treated for hypothermia, officials said.

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Friday's intriguing people
Kelly Gneiting prepares to wrestle during the 2005 USA National Sumo Championship in North Bergen, New Jersey.
March 18th, 2011
10:55 AM ET

Friday's intriguing people

Kelly Gneiting

The 40-year-old sumo wrestler, who weighs 405 pounds and has a 60-inch waist, is training to run 26.2 miles in the Los Angeles Marathon on Sunday. Should he manage it, Guinness World Records is prepared to recognize him as the heaviest person ever to finish a marathon.

Gneiting took up sumo wrestling in the late 1990s and has won three U.S. championships. Running a marathon has been his goal since grade school, according to an article in the Los Angeles Times.

Gneiting lives on an Indian reservation in Arizona, the Times says, and has a master's degree in geography from the University of Idaho, according to a bio at nostringsattachedenews.com. His wife and five children live in Idaho.

"I honestly think I'm one of the best athletes in the world," he says.

FULL POST

October 10th, 2010
10:05 AM ET

Kenyan wins Chicago Marathon

Sammy Wanjiru, here running the London marathon, won the Chicago marathon Sunday.

 
UPDATE 10:40 ET: Sammy Wanjiru of Kenya has won the Bank of America Chicago Marathon in 2 hours, 5 minutes and 5 seconds. This is his second consecutive domination of the 26.2 mile event.

Wanjiru's victory was all the more impressive because he'd been getting over knee problems and had a stomach virus which set back his training, commentators said.

Liliya Shobukhova won for women. The Russian runs an average of about 140 miles a week to train, a commentator said.

While Wanjiru and Shobukhova enjoy all the free bagels they can eat - and monetary prizes - there are about 41,000 runners who are still out on the road. They are facing unusually hot weather with temps reaching into the 80s. Watch them run on CNN.com Live.

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Filed under: Running • Sports