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Surfer training for Olympic qualifier killed by lightning

ISA World Surfing Games

TAHARA, JAPAN - SEPTEMBER 17: A general view during the ISA World Surfing Games at the Pacific Long Beach on September 17, 2018 in Tahara, Aichi, Japan. (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)

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SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador — A surfer who had hopes of qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics has been killed by lightning on a beach in El Salvador, national sporting officials said Saturday.

Katherine Díaz Hernández, 22, was practicing near her home at the Pacific coast beach of El Tunco when she was hit by lightning on Friday.

The president of the government’s Salvadoran Sports Institute, Yamil Bukele, posted a message expressing condolences to her family.

She had been training for a global tournament, set to be held in El Salvador, that serves as the last qualifying event for surfing’s Olympic debut.

Díaz also worked as a chef and had opened her own business in El Tunco.