Katherine Diaz: Olympic hopeful surfer killed by lightning at El Salvador beach

A surfer who hoped to make this year’s Olympics has been killed by lightning as she entered the water.

Katherine Diaz, from El Salvador, was training for an upcoming qualifier event in her home country when she died on Friday.

Local media said the 22-year-old was at El Tunco Beach, around 10 miles (16km) south of the capital San Salvador, when she was hit by lightning shortly after entering the ocean.

Diaz had competed in international surfing events and was hoping to make the team for the Tokyo Games, where surfing is included for the first time.

The International Surfing Association, the sport’s governing body, sent its “heartfelt condolences” and tweeted: “Katherine embodied the joy and energy that make surfing so special and dear to us all, as a global ambassador of the sport.

“She excelled at the int’l competition level, representing her country with pride at both the World Surfing Games and ISA World Jr Surfing Championship.”

Diaz’s funeral was on Sunday – media in El Salvador tweeted a picture of her surfboard next to her coffin, along with flowers and photos.

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