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SBD Global/August 23, 2012/People and Pop Culture

Names In The News

NBA Miami Heat F LEBRON JAMES started his four-day China trip on Tuesday, "creating another wave of NBA mania" in the country, following fellow NBA players KOBE BRYANT and JEREMY LIN. James attended Nike's Find Your Greatness promotion activity at the Chaoyang Gymnasium in Beijing on Wednesday (CHINA DAILY, 8/22). In Beijing, Li Fangfang reported Bryant has returned to China "to once again lend his" image to the diminutive Mercedes-Benz smart car brand. In Shanghai, the "highlight of the gala night was Bryant's dramatic entrance" with the all-new sharpred that was just launched in China (CHINA DAILY, 8/20).

Six-time Olympic Gold Medalist USAIN BOLT said that he "is a definite starter" for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, "opening up the possibility of more sprint records or an attempt at other events." Bolt: "Yes, definitely I will be there, as long as I'm fit and I'm ready. It'll be a little harder, but I'm looking forward to it" (REUTERS, 8/22). ... Indian tennis player SANIA MIRZA hosted the Kids Day Clinic last weekend at Yale University in the U.S. She is also participating in the women's double competition at New Haven Open Tournament with her teammate BETHANIE MATTEK-SANDS (PTI, 8/21). ... RAFAEL NADAL will play in an exhibition match at Madison Square Garden next March. The 2009 U.S. Open Champion will play Argentina’s JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO in the BNP Paris Showdown on March 4, 2013. On the same night, 14-time major champion and London Gold Medalist SERENA WILLIAMS will face top-ranked VICTORIA AZARENKA (London GUARDIAN, 8/22). WARREN GATLAND's appointment as the British Lions Coach for the tour of Australia next summer is to be confirmed on Sept. 4, almost five months after the freak accident that "threatened to ruin his hopes of landing the job.” At the time, he was back home in New Zealand “when a fall from a ladder at his beach house left him with two fractured heels” (London DAILY MAIL, 8/21). … McLaren team boss MARTIN WHITMARSH said that LEWIS HAMILTON has told him that “he wants to sign a new contract with the team.” Whitmarsh: “If Lewis wants to stay in the team, which he has told me he does, then he should do.” Drives are expected to become available at Ferrari and Red Bull at the end of the season, “with speculation also surrounding MICHAEL SCHUMACHER’s future at Mercedes" (BBC, 8/22). ...South Korea men's Olympic football coach HONG MYUNG-BO said that he believes "beleaguered midfielder" PARK JONG-WOO deserves his Bronze Medal (KOREA TIMES, 8/22). ... Hundreds of fans "braved torrential rain" to give British Olympic Medalist KRISTIAN THOMAS a hero's welcome when he returned to Earls Gymnastics Club in Halesowen, England (EXPRESSANDSTAR.com, 8/22). ... Danish handball player MIKKEL HANSEN "has signed a four-year deal with French side Paris St. Germain." The 24-year-old, who was voted 2011 IHF World Player of the Year, became a free-agent after his Danish club AG Copenhagen went into administration (SÜDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG, 8/22).
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