Tournaments

21 Mar 2017

Puerto Rican teenager Adriana Díaz made history on April 1st by becoming the first female table tennis player from her country to qualify for an Olympic Games, and with Rio 2016 only a matter of days away the 15-year-old has given fans an insight into her life following her landmark achievement.

Maturity Beyond Her Years

Born in Utuado (Puerto Rico) on October 31st 2000, Díaz burst onto the table tennis scene when she won a trio of titles at the 2014 Latin American Youth Championships (Cadet girls singles, Cadet girls doubles and Cadet mixed doubles). Three medals at the 2014 Central American and Caribbean Games and a women’s team bronze with Puerto Rico at the Pan American Games a year later, and suddenly Díaz’s hopes of qualifying for Rio 2016 appeared more realistic than ever.

Díaz enters the Olympic Games as one of the youngest contestants for table tennis, however, despite her young age the Puerto Rican star has shown great maturity in her play leading up to the Games.

Lisi Castillo of Cuba was leading Díaz 6-8 in the seventh end at the Latin American Olympic Qualification tournament; where others have faltered due to similar pressure Díaz thrived, recovering to beat her opponent and seal her spot at Rio 2016.

Family Affair

Díaz dedicated the victory to her parents, “from the beginning they believed in me, that I could qualify, they gave me all the support and told me I could make it.” She added, “My family means everything to me, we all play table tennis and we communicate very well”.

Adriana Díaz Olympic Games Thoughts

Dream Come True

Like many other athletes, Adriana Díaz has long dreamed of competing at the highest level in her sport, but her ambitions don’t end there as she has her sights set on conquering table tennis, “It’s a goal for me to be in an Olympic Games, and now that I made it I’m elated and anxious to be in Rio. My dream in the sport is to be one of the best players in the world and get an Olympic medal for Puerto Rico.”

“The Olympic gold medal is my dream because Puerto Rico never got a gold medal in Olympic Games. And I want to win it.”

by Simon Daish

Rio 2016 Rio Women's News Rio 2016 Adriana Diaz Puerto Rico
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