Kobe Bryant dead in California helicopter crash

Legendary NBA player Kobe Bryant has died in a California helicopter crash, reports said Sunday.

He was 41.

The retired Los Angeles Lakers star was traveling in his private helicopter over Calabasas when a fire broke out, sending the chopper spiraling from the sky, according to TMZ Sports.

The crash occurred around 10 a.m. local time amid foggy conditions in the hills overlooking Calabasas, with the Sikorsky S-76 chopper sparking a brush fire on impact that hampered initial rescue efforts, according to The Los Angeles Times, which confirmed the deaths of Bryant and four others aboard the craft.

breaking

Kobe Bryant dead in California helicopter crash

Legendary NBA player Kobe Bryant has died in a California helicopter crash, reports said Sunday.

He was 41.

The retired Los Angeles Lakers star was traveling in his private helicopter over Calabasas when a fire broke out, sending the chopper spiraling from the sky, according to TMZ Sports.

The crash occurred around 10 a.m. local time amid foggy conditions in the hills overlooking Calabasas, with the Sikorsky S-76 chopper sparking a brush fire on impact that hampered initial rescue efforts, according to The Los Angeles Times, which confirmed the deaths of Bryant and four others aboard the craft.

Authorities later revealed that nine people are believed to have died in the crash. There were no survivors, and the cause of the crash is under investigation, according to TMZ.

Bryant’s wife, Vanessa, was not among those aboard the chopper, but his 13-year-old daughter Gianna was, according to reports.

He is survived by the couple’s other three daughters: Natalia, 17; Bianka, 3; and Capri Kobe Bryant, born just last June.

Bryant, a Philadelphia native, starred for two decades with the Lakers, winning five championships and making 18 All-Star Games before hanging up his basketball shoes following the 2016 season.

The stunning death of the sweet-shooting guard came just hours after he toasted fellow NBA icon and current Laker LeBron James for passing him for third place on the league’s all-time scoring list.

“Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames,” wrote Bryant on Saturday night in what would prove to be his final tweet. “Much respect my brother.”

Bryant concluded the message with an emoji of a bicep flexing, and the hashtag “#33644,” one point more than he scored in his illustrious career.

Bryant was considered a lock to be among the next class inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, set to be announced next month.

H.E, President Salva Kiir Mayardit meets from South Sudan Basketball Federation delegation

Source: South Sudan Presidential Unit
H.E, President Salva Kiir Mayardit met with a delegation from South Sudan Basketball Federation, headed by the President of the Federation Luol Aldo Ajou, at the State House on Friday.

Speaking to the media after the meeting, the Executive Director in the Office of the President James Deng Wal said, President Kiir discussed with the delegation their plans of improving basketball in South Sudan.

Meanwhile, the President of South Sudan Basketball Federation Luol Aldo Ajou said the federation would do its best to improve basketball in the country by training and forming women and under eighteen basketball teams.

Impressive South Sudan play Kenya morans in classic final day game

The Kenyan morans played against South Sudan and the game ended 74-68 on the last day of the FIBA Afro basketball pre-qualifiers at the Nyayo National Stadium Gymnasium.

Morans proceeded to FIBA Afrobasket 2021 qualifiers set in November after a pulsating clash that was marred by confusion before kick-off on Saturday.

The Kenyans were able to overcome the South Sudanese after improving on rebounds and denied their opponents chances to score three points which they seemed to have perfected in earlier matches.

Morans join Angola, Senegal, and Mozambique in the qualifiers where the top three will qualify for Africa’s top men’s tournament in 2021.

Questions emerged over Nyayo Stadium Gymnasium’s viability following crowd trouble before the pre-qualifier final showdown.

The clash which was scheduled to kick off at 6:30 pm local time had to be delayed for more than an hour after a significant number of fans stormed in the court as the teams warmed up.

The crowd, which seemed to increase in size flooded the gymnasium in minutes, forcing players from both teams to vacate the court.

FIBA officials had to clear the court for the match to resume.

South Sudan had maintained their unbeaten run in the tournament after brushing aside Burundi 100-59, before losing against aggressive Kenyans.

2019 Rugby Africa Women’s Sevens

South Africa crowned champions and Kenya book their Spot at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

MONASTIR, Tunisia

The second day of the 2019 Rugby Africa (RugbyAfrique.com) Women’s Sevens sponsored by Société Générale has come to an end on Sunday and so did the tournament. Kenya lost the final game to South Africa 14-15, however, they still managed to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. South Africa and Kenya are both entitled to participate now in a qualification tournament for the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series. Tunisia and Madagascar are qualified for the Olympic repechage tournament June next year.

The day started at 09:30 with South Africa beating Morocco 42-00. Madagascar were up next with a victory against Senegal 24-05, while Uganda suffered a 00-33 defeat against the Tunisian hosts.  Kenya beat Zimbabwe 36-05 while Ghana had the final say in their clash against Mauritius, which ended 29-10.  Zambia wrapped up the first round of the games with a 24-05 victory over Botswana.

South Africa comes out on top against Madagascar 29-00 in the semi-final game while host Tunisia was shown the way out by Kenya after a 00-19 loss.  Madagascar went on to claim the third place after beating Tunisia 05-00.  The final clash between South Africa and Kenya resulted in a victory for the South Africans by a small gap. The final result was 15-14.

Final ranking of Rugby Africa Women’s Sevens 2019:

  1. South Africa
  2. Kenya
  3. Madagascar
  4. Tunisia
  5. Uganda
  6. Senegal
  7. Morocco
  8. Zimbabwe
  9. Ghana
  10. Zambia
  11. Botswana
  12. Mauritius

In the beginning, we struggled to find our rhythm, but today they stepped up

Alongside the tournament, many kids from different schools across Tunisia, gathered for the Get Into Rugby event which was organised in partnership with Société Générale at the training grounds near the main stadium. The U12 kids got to attend a couple of games from the tournament to get a better feel for the atmosphere. The event was wrapped with a group photo with Rugby Africa president, Khaled Babbou, along with many Rugby Africa and Tunisia officials.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Rugby Africa.

New record for Ronaldo: 700th Goal

Portugal and Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo insisted he is not obsessed with breaking records as they come naturally for him after scoring his landmark 700th career goal.
Ronaldo bagged a consolation penalty in the second half of Portugal’s 2-1 Euro 2020 qualifying defeat to Ukraine in Kiev on Monday.

The 34-year-old superstar made no mistake from 12 yards after Taras Stepanenko was penalised for handling the ball inside the box, but it was not enough for Portugal as they lost for the first time since the 2018 World Cup.
Defeat for Portugal at the Olympic Stadium made the occasion bittersweet for Ronaldo, who is now part of an elite list of players to have reached the milestone figure.

“Not just anyone can reach this figure,” he told reporters. “Thank you to my team-mates, colleagues and coaches who have helped me to become the player I am.
“I am disappointed that we didn’t win, but proud of the team.”

Reflecting on his personal achievement, Ronaldo added: “How many records do I have? I don’t know. I have to enjoy the moment and thank those who helped me reach this impressive mark.
“The last time I played at this ground I won the Champions League, a beautiful moment that is in the past. Today we played well but couldn’t win.
“Records come naturally – I don’t go looking for them; records are looking for me! Without having an obsession, they happen naturally.”

Portugal entered Monday’s clash with Group B leaders Ukraine on the back of a 13-match unbeaten run in all competitions, including victories in their last five matches.
The European and Nations League champions were two goals down inside half an hour, however, with Roman Yaremchuk and Andriy Yarmolenko ensuring Ukraine’s place in the Euro 2020 finals.

Fernando Santos’ men may now need victories over Lithuania and Luxembourg in their final two matches to hold off third-placed Serbia, but Portugal’s head coach claimed his side were hard done by.

“We started well with a couple of chances, then they went and scored,” Santos told RTP. “We tried to react, but whenever Ukraine went forward we had difficulties.
“At half-time I tried to rectify things and we improved, but we went into the break with an unfair scoreline – it should have been 2-1 and not 2-0.
“We played a lot with our hearts and less with our heads. I asked them to play more with their heads [in the second half] and be stronger defensively, while keeping our concentration.
“Now we have to win our next two games, which are like finals.”

Kipchoge, 10 others nominated for male athlete of year

(Reuters) 
Kenyan Eluid Kipchoge, who on Saturday became the first man to run a marathon in less than two hours, is one of 11 nominees for the IAAF male athlete of the year, athletics’ governing body said on Monday.

Kipchoge, who finished a special marathon in Vienna in one hour, 59 minutes and 40 seconds that will not be recognised for world record purposes, also was nominated for his London Marathon course record.
Ten winners from the recent world athletics championships in Doha also are under consideration for the global honour: Americans Donovan Brazier (800m), Christian Coleman (100m), Sam Kendricks (pole vault), Noah Lyles (200m), Christian Taylor (triple jump).

Also, Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei (10,000m, world cross country title), Kenya’s Timothy Cheruyiot (1,500m), Bahamas’ Steven Gardiner (400m), Sweden’s Daniel Stahl (discus) and Norway’s Karsten Warholm (400m hurdles).
 
Female nominees will be announced on Tuesday.
Fans may vote online on the IAAF’s social media platforms.
Athletes of the year will be announced live on stage at the World Athletics Awards 2019 in November.

2021 Africa Cup of Nations: South Sudan Advance in qualifying

South Sudan, who won the first leg of their tie against Seychelles 2-1, followed it up with a 1-0 victory away from home to go through 3-1 on aggregate.

South Sudan will play in Group B of qualifying with Burkina Faso, Uganda and Malawi.

The Gambia and Chad both needed penalties to reach the group phase of qualifying for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations as South Sudan and Sao Tome e Principe secured their places with aggregate victories.
The Gambia hosted Djibouti at the Independence Stadium in Bakau, just outside the capital, with the preliminary round tie level at 1-1 from the first leg.
The second leg also finished 1-1 leaving the tie at 2-2 overall.
It went to a penalty shoot-out with the home fans willing on their team as The Gambia won 3-2 on spot-kicks to progress to Group D of qualifying where they will meet the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon and Angola.
Chad also went through via penalties after they won the home leg of their tie against Liberia 1-0 to make it 1-1 on aggregate.
Liberia’s captain Sam Johnson was sent off shortly after the break for a second booking with Chad then capitalising to score the only goal of the second leg.
In the subsequent shoot-out, Chad just edged Liberia 5-4 to make it through to Group A of qualifying where they will face Mali, Guinea and Namibia.
Sao Tome e Principe followed up their famous 3-1 first-leg victory away to Mauritius with a 2-1 victory in their home leg on Sunday to go through 5-2 overall.
Sao Tome will be in Group C of qualifying for the 2021 Nations Cup alongside Ghana, South Africa and Sudan.
The first two rounds of group matches will be played during the international window in November.

I need time to gel with Messi and Suarez – Griezmann

Antoine Griezmann insisted it will take time for him to gel with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez after Barcelona escaped with a point against Borussia Dortmund in their Champions League opener.

Barcelona held on for a 0-0 draw away to Bundesliga side Dortmund in Tuesday’s Group F clash after goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen saved a second-half penalty from Marco Reus.

Star man Messi made his first appearance of the season after recovering from a calf injury – coming on as a second-half substitute – but it was a frustrating night for the LaLiga champions, whose side included Suarez and close-season arrival Griezmann.

“It’s my second month since I arrived, I have to get used to it and play more with them to understand the movements of Suarez and Leo,” Griezmann – a €120million signing from Atletico Madrid – acknowledged in Movistar +.

“We have not knocked on the door enough and we must improve and work at it. It is a point but Marc stopped a penalty and made other saves.”

Barca head coach Valverde admitted they had Ter Stegen to thank after he made a string of fine saves – including one to deny Germany colleague Reus in the 57th minute.

“It was a difficult game in a great atmosphere,” Valverde said. “We had to suffer a lot, especially after the break when we lost control and they were very dangerous.

“In the first half we dominated a bit more. We were lacking in the final third. We have to thank Marc-Andre ter Stegen for his outstanding saves.

“In the end we lost two points and failed to be in a better position. Nevertheless, we can be especially proud of the second half,” the 30-year-old said.

Ronaldinho: Coming out of retirement?

Former Barcelona and AC Milan star to come out of retirement aged 39 for Colombian side Santa Fe.

The legendary Brazilian hung up his boots four years ago after a short spell with Fluminense.

He also featured for Barcelona, AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain and Flamengo over 17 years, with 97 caps for the Selecao.

The club have announced he will feature in a friendly on October 17 at the Estadio El Campin in Bogota, with the opposition to be decided.

Ronaldinho has been working for the Brazilian government as an ambassador for tourism.

“I hope to continue to speak positively about our country wherever I go, inviting people to come here. It makes me very proud,” he said this month.