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Basketball Legend Kobe Bryant Dies In Helicopter Crash

The helicopter crash happened on a hillside in the Calabasas area.



LOS ANGELES (United States): Former Lakers NBA basketball star Kobe Bryant has died following a plane crash Sunday at the age of 41. The helicopter crash happened on a hillside in the Calabasas area.

There were no survivors in the crash, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department. It was unclear if family members were on the helicopter.

Bryant has used a helicopter to travel for years, dating back to when he played for the Lakers.

Bryant retired in 2016 as the third-leading scorer in NBA history, finishing two decades with the Lakers as a prolific scorer with a sublime all-around game and a relentless competitive ethic. He held that spot in the league scoring ranks until Saturday night when the Lakers’ LeBron James passed him for third place during a game in Philadelphia, Bryant’s hometown.

Five people were killed in the crash on a hillside in Calabasas, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said. There were no survivors, the Los Angeles County Fire Department said.

The sheriff’s department received reports of the downed aircraft just after 1 p.m. ET, officials said in a tweet.

Bryant had one of the greatest careers in recent NBA history and became one of the game’s most popular players as the face of the 16-time NBA champion Lakers franchise. He was the league MVP in 2008 and a two-time NBA scoring champion, and he earned 12 selections to the NBA’s All-Defensive teams.

He teamed with Shaquille O’Neal in a combustible partnership to lead the Lakers to NBA titles in 2000, 2001 and 2002. He later teamed with Pau Gasol to win two more titles in 2009 and 2010.

Calabasas is a city of 23,000 people about 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles.

This is a developing story and will be updated as details become available.

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COVID-19 Effect: Japan, IOC Agree to Delay 2020 Olympics by One Year

The global spread of the coronavirus has forced the Tokyo Olympics to be postponed.



LAUSANNE (Switzerland): Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he agreed with the International Olympic Committee’s president that the Summer Olympics previously scheduled to start in Tokyo on July 24, 2020, would be delayed by around one year. Abe spoke by phone Tuesday with IOC President Thomas Bach.

In the present circumstances and based on the information provided by the WHO today, the IOC President and the Prime Minister of Japan have concluded that the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community,” the IOC and Abe said in a joint statement.

The leaders agreed that the Olympic Games in Tokyo could stand as a beacon of hope to the world during these troubled times and that the Olympic flame could become the light at the end of the tunnel in which the world finds itself at present. Therefore, it was agreed that the Olympic flame will stay in Japan. It was also agreed that the Games will keep the name Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.”

The Japanese leader said it was difficult to hold the Olympics this year due to the coronavirus pandemic and a delay was needed to ensure the safety of athletes and spectators. He said he proposed a delay of “about one year” and received “100% agreement” from Bach.

“We have agreed that the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics will be held by the summer of 2021 at the latest,” Abe said in Tokyo. He said the study would now begin on arranging venues for the Games.

He didn’t give an exact date for the start of the Games in 2021.


In the Sunday (March 22, 2020) statement, the IOC said it would begin “detailed discussions to complete its assessment of the rapid development of the worldwide health situation and its impact on the Olympic Games, including the scenario of postponement.”

The committee added that those talks, held “in full coordination and partnership” with organizers and Japanese authorities, would likely be finalized “within the next four weeks.”

Canada and Australia have already announced they would not be sending athletes to Tokyo, while USA Swimming called on U.S. officials to do the same.

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PK Banerjee, The Last Of The Golden Generation, Dies



KOLKATA (West Bengal): A glorious chapter of Indian football came to an end with the passing of legend Pradip Kumar Banerjee, fondly called PK, on Friday, 20 March. The 83-year-old breathed his last at a private hospital in Kolkata, according to his family sources.

Since January 2020, the former India football captain and coach was suffering due to a number of ailments. He made several trips to the hospital since the start of the year before he was put on life support earlier this month. He breathed his last at 12:40 pm.

He is survived by daughters Paula and Purna, who are renowned academicians, and younger brother Prasun Banerjee, a sitting Trinamool Congress Member of Parliament.

Born on June 23, 1936, in Moynaguri on the outskirts of Jalpaiguri in Bengal, Banerjee’s family relocated to his uncle’s place in Jamshedpur before partition.

The 1962 Asian Games gold medallist’s best days as a player coincided with Indian football’s golden era.

He scored 65 international goals in 84 appearances for the national team.

His contribution was duly recognised by football international governing body (FIFA), which rated him as India’s greatest player of the 20th century, bestowing him with the Centennial Order of Merit in 2004.

Barring one year, when he joined Aryan Football Club, PK played for Eastern Railways from 1955 to 1967. It was during his stay; the club reached their pinnacle winning the Calcutta Football League (CFL) in 1958. At that time, it was one of the most prestigious trophies to get your hands on, along with the IFA Shield, the Durand Cup and DCM Trophy.

Teen Debutant:

From his debut for Bihar in the Santosh Trophy as a 16-year-old in 1952 to a stint as Mohammedan Sporting coach 51 years later, Banerjee takes leave as one of India’s greatest. A member of the holy trinity that included Chuni Goswami and Tulsidas Balaram, Banerjee was the last surviving scorer of the 1962 Asiad gold-winning team. Another one his bright moments with the national team was a fourth-place finish at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, during which India beat Australia 4-1.

In the final of the 1962 Asiad, India prevailed in front of a hostile crowd that had been angered by Indian chef-de-mission Guru Dutt Sondhi’s remark that it was ‘Jakarta Games’, after countries like Taiwan and Israel were barred. Banerjee scored the opener in that game. He was the captain of the Indian team that last played the Olympics in Rome 1960. He retired as a player in 1967 after being laid low by recurring injuries.

However, he went on to accumulate a staggering 54 trophies as a coach. Banerjee pulled off a heist as the Mohun Bagan coach when they famously held New York Cosmos 2-2 in an exhibition match starring Pele in 1977.

Sporting Icons React:

I had played under Pradip da in the Indian team also. He was a true leader. I have not played under such a great coach, great human being and someone who always used to bring the best out of you. I am Shyam Thapa because I had Pradip Kumar Banerjee to guide me. He was my godfather. — Shyam Thapa, Former India striker

He taught us what no one ever could. As a player and coach, Pradip da’s contribution to Indian football can never be matched and I don’t need to say this. — Subrata Bhattacharya, Former India defender

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Five Indian Boxers Secure Berths For Tokyo Olympics

Pooja Rani Bohra became the first boxer to qualify for Tokyo Olympics 2020, quite fittingly on Women’s Day.



NEW DELHI: Five Indian boxers, including the seasoned trio of Vikas Krishan in 69 kilograms, Pooja Rani in 75 kg and Satish Kumar in 91 kg category, yesterday secured Tokyo Olympic berths by advancing to the semifinals of the Asian Qualifiers with mostly commanding victories in Amman, Jordan.

Satish, Rani, Krishan, Lovlina Borgohain in 69 kg and Ashish Kumar in 75 kg became the first set of Indian boxers to qualify for quadrennial showpiece scheduled in July-August this year.

While fourth-seeded Rani notched up a facile 5-0 win over Thailand’s Pornnipa Chutee, Krishan endured a difficult one against third-seeded Japanese Sewonrets Okazawa before prevailing in a unanimous verdict against the Asian silver-medallist.

Rani will next face the reigning world and Asian champion Li Qian of China, who has the top billing in the 75 kg category.

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