Katherine Diaz Hernandez dead at 22: Tokyo Olympic surfing hopeful struck by lightning in horror accident while at beach

OLYMPIC surfing hopeful Katherine Diaz Hernandez tragically died on Saturday after she was reportedly struck by lightning in El Salvador.

The freak accident occurred as the 22-year-old entered the water at surfing hot spot El Tunco around 5pm local time.

Friends and onlookers called for an ambulance and she was rushed to hospital.

But unfortunately doctors could do nothing for her and the El Salvador national was pronounced dead, according to NEWS AU.

Diaz was training near her home for an annual global surf contest held in El Salvador which is the final hurdle for Tokyo Olympic qualification.

Surfing has been included in the Summer Games for the first time.

Diaz worked as a chef in the evenings and trained for surf competitions during the day.

She previously represented El Salvador at the ISA World Surfing Games and the ISA World Junior Surfing Championship.

Her brother Bamba Diaz was one of the first to pay an emotional tribute.

He wrote online: "Sister we will always carry you in our hearts. God decided to take you now. We already miss you. Love forever."


A post shared by KATHERINE DIAZ (@katherinecook7)


A post shared by KATHERINE DIAZ (@katherinecook7)


A post shared by KATHERINE DIAZ (@katherinecook7)

President of the Salvadoran Sports Institute, Yamil Bukele also sent his condolences.

He added: "I just found out about the death of Salvadoran surfer Katherine Díaz.

"I am very sorry for this death and I join the pain that overwhelms her family. Our solidarity with ‘el Bamba’ and the surf family. Peace for your soul."

And the International Surfing Association wrote: "It is with a heavy heart that the ISA has learned about the passing of El Salvador’s Katherine Diaz,

"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 international competition level, representing her country with pride at both the ISA World Surfing Games and ISA World Junior Surfing Championship.

“We send our heartfelt condolences to Katherine’s family, the surfers of El Salvador, and to all those in the international surfing community whose lives she touched.

“We will never forget you.”

Source: Read Full Article