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Tokyo Olympics 2021 surfing hopeful Katherine Díaz Hernández dies after being hit by lightning strike

A surfer who had hopes of qualifying for the Olympics has been killed by lightning on a beach in El Salvador, national sporting officials said Saturday.

Katherine Díaz Hernández, 22, was practising near her home at the Pacific coast beach of El Tunco when she was hit by lightning on Friday.

The president of the government’s Salvadoran Sports Institute, Yamil Bukele, posted a message expressing condolences to her family.

She had been training a global tournament, set to be held in El Salvador, that serves as a qualifying even for this year’s Summer Olympic Games.

Díaz also worked as a chef and had opened her own business in El Tunco.

The International Surfing Association paid an emotional tribute to Diaz over the weekend saying she ‘embodied the joy’ of surfing.

“It is with a heavy heart that the ISA has learned about the passing of El Salvador’s Katherine Diaz,” the association wrote on Instagram.

Katherine Díaz Hernández has passed away at the age of 22. Credit: Instagram

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