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Tributes paid to surfer killed by lightning

Tributes have been paid to El Salvador surfer Katherine Diaz, who died after being struck by lightning.

The incident happened at El Tunco beach in her homeland as Diaz, 22, prepared for a tournament which could have earned her a Tokyo Olympics spot.

“Katherine embodied the joy and energy that make surfing so special and dear to us all,” said the International Surfing Association (ISA).

“She excelled at the international competition level.”

The ISA added that Diaz – a global ambassador – represented “her country with pride at both the World Surfing Games and ISA World Jr 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,” continued the statement.

“We will never forget you.”

Surfing is scheduled to make its Olympic debut at this summer’s Games in Tokyo.

Diaz’s brother, Jose ‘Bamba’ Diaz, posted a message on Instagram which read: “We will always carry you in our hearts. God decided to take you now. We already miss you.

“Love forever little sister.”

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