25 Nov 2023

From 4 to 10 December, the ITTF Mixed Team World Cup 2023 will unfold at the Sichuan Gymnasium in Chengdu, China, featuring the world's top 18 teams vying for glory.

In an exceptional display of familial unity, Team Puerto Rico boasts no less than three Diaz sisters, guided by their father Bladimir, and complemented by their cousin Brian Afanador. With table tennis deeply woven into the fabric of their family, Puerto Rico emerges as a team from the Americas that demands close attention.

Firing up the women’s side are the formidable duo of top-ranked Adriana Diaz and Melanie Diaz, fresh from their medal triumphs in the Pan-American Games. On the men’s side, Brian Afanador, who recently defeated World No.5 Hugo Calderano in the ITTF World Championships Finals Durban 2023, leads the charge.

Brian Afanador at the ITTF World Team Championships Finals Chengdu 2022
Brian Afanador at the ITTF World Team Championships Finals Chengdu 2022


Adriana DIAZ (World No.11)
Beaming with confidence, Adriana Diaz is fighting her way to the very top and bringing her beloved Puerto Rico with her along for the ride. From a Pan American outlook, she has won it all and was the first female table tennis player to represent Puerto Rico on the Olympic stage in 2016. She also made history at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, playing a significant role in guiding the island to its first gold medal successes in the event’s history. In 2020, Adriana’s outstanding achievements saw her voted “Athlete of the Decade” in Puerto Rico.

Melanie DIAZ (World No.142)
The eldest of the Diaz sisters, Melanie, played a crucial role in securing Puerto Rico’s first Pan American Table Tennis gold at the Women’s doubles during the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, alongside her sister Adriana.

Brianna BURGOS (World No.155)
At just 18, Brianna Burgos showcased her mettle by winning silver in women’s team at the 2023 Pan-American Games alongside the Diaz sisters. She also clinched a bronze medal in women’s singles at the 2023 Central American and Caribbean Games in San Salvador.

Fabiola DIAZ (World No.193)
The youngest Diaz sister at 21, Fabiola, teamed up with Brianna Burgos to secure a bronze medal in U21 women’s teams at the Cali 2021 Pan American Junior Games.

Brian AFANADOR (World No.72)
Making history as the first Puerto Rican male table tennis player to qualify for the Olympic Games in 2016, Brian Afanador continues to be a force to be reckoned with. As the flag-bearer alongside cousin Adriana Diaz at the Tokyo 2020 opening ceremony, Afanador reached the finals in men’s singles at WTT Feeder Dusseldorf I 2022.

Daniel GONZALEZ (World No.148)
Ranked 53rd in men’s doubles with Brian Afanador, Daniel Gonzalez showcased his prowess by winning silver in both men’s singles and men’s team at the 2022 Caribbean Championship.

Angel NARANJO (World No.194)
Crowned in WTT Youth Contender Salta 2022 U19 boy’s Singles, 19-year-old Angel Naranjo demonstrates immense potential, reaching quarterfinals in WTT Youth Star Contender Doha and WTT Youth Contender Doha in 2023.

Oscar BIRRIEL (World No.248)
At 18, rising star Oscar Birriel has emerged as a key player in Puerto Rico’s men’s team. His standout performance in WTT Youth Contender Cuenca 2022 included two gold medals with an impressive 11 consecutive wins in both U19 and U17 Boy’s Singles.

As Team Puerto Rico assembles for another historic campaign, the question lingers: Will they script another remarkable chapter in the coming weeks?


*Rankings according to latest on 21/11/2023

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