AMERICAS

15-Year-Old Puerto Rican Star Qualified To Rio 2016

15-year-old Puerto Rican star qualified to Rio 2016
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Adriana Diaz made history again for Puerto Rico. Last year she she became world team cadet champion and gave the first world title to Latin America and Puerto Rico. Yesterday the raising star was the first Latin American player to secure a place in the Olympic Games to be held in Rio de Janeiro 2016. 

Adriana Diaz of Puerto Rico is the first Latin American female player to book a place at the Olympic Games Rio 2016. Brazilian players were the favorite to capture the places in the first day, but they suffered early elimination and Diaz kept her level to the finals. 

On her way to the deciding match, the 15-year-old player defeated Venezuela's Roxy Gonzalez, Chile's Katherine Low and Colombia's Paula Medina. In the final match Diaz faced Cuba's Lisi Castillo. Castillo isn't currently ranked but is a dangerous player, so Diaz didn't have his place secured yet. 

The Cuban player took the lead by 15-13 but Diaz recovered and won the next two games by 11-7 and 11-7. In the fourth game Castillo leveled by 13-11 but Diaz put herself again up in the score by 11-2. Castillo didn't give up and leveled by 11-7 forcing to a 7th game. In the deciding game Diaz didn't feel any pressure and sealed her victory by 11-9. 

Thanks to this victory, Adriana Diaz became the first Puerto Rican player to qualify to Olympic Games in Table Tennis. 

Diaz wasn't the only player to qualify to Rio 2016 at the ITTF Latin American Olympic Qualification Tournament, Lady Ruano of Colombia also got a ticket to Rio de Janeiro. The Colombian player emerged successfully over Mexico's Yadira Silva by 8-11, 11-6, 16-14, 11-6 and 11-7. 

Photo courtesy ITTF 
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