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Adriana Diaz, Olympian Before Possible Youth Olympian – Photo courtesy of ITTF

Top Seed in Senec, Adriana Diaz, Olympian Before Possible Youth Olympian

Top Seed in Senec, Adriana Diaz, Olympian Before Possible Youth Olympian

2016 Slovak Junior Open – ITTF Junior Circuit
Courtesy of ITTF

Bound for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Puerto Rico’s Adriana Diaz is the top seed in the Junior Girls’ Singles event at the forthcoming Slovak Junior Open; proceedings commence in Senec on Thursday May 19th and conclude on Sunday May 22nd.

A place in the Olympic Games and judging by the efforts of the 15 year old from Utuado in the center of the Caribbean island, she may well appear on the entry list for the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games.

Wrong Way Round
Surely that is the wrong way round; should you not progress from the Youth Olympic Games to the Olympic Games, not vice versa?

No doubt Adriana Diaz may well have qualified for the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games, the problem was that she was simply too young. She did not meet the age criteria.

A Possible First?
However, could she become the first player to compete in the Women’s Singles event at the Olympic Games before she competes in the Women’s Singles event at the Youth Olympic Games?

We await the nominations from Japan for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games; Mima Ito and Miu Hirano are born in 2000, the same year as Adriana Diaz. However will either play in the Women’s Singles event in Rio de Janeiro?

Surely the odds favor Kasumi Ishikawa and Ai Fukuhara with perhaps Mima Ito completing the trio for the Women’s Team competition?

Leading Name in Pan America
Continually, as with the likes of Japan’s Mima Ito and Miu Hirano, Adriana Diaz has put elder adversaries to the sword; the end result is that she is currently listed at no.89 on the Women’s World Rankings.

She is the highest listed female player in the whole the Pan American continent.

Celebrity Status
Furthermore, she is undoubtedly the most celebrated sportswomen in Puerto Rico; Rafael Nadal visits and the personality he must meet is Adriana Diaz.

Equally, visit Plaza las America, a shopping mall on the outskirts of the capital city, the biggest in the whole of the Caribbean and you find a full size photo of Adriana Diaz greets you on the second floor; such is her status in the region.

The winner of both the Junior Girls’ Singles and Cadet Girls’ Singles events at the 2015 Croatian Junior and Cadet Open; her major rivals in Senec are mere mortals by comparison.

Hungary’s Leonie Hartbrich and the Czech Republic’s Nikita Petrovova are the next in the pecking order; each competed in six ITTF Junior Circuit tournaments last year whilst both have appeared this year. Leonie Hartbrich played in Italy, Nikita Petrovova in both the Czech Republic and Italy.

However, neither has as yet progressed to the latter stages of a Junior Girls’ Singles event an ITTF World Tour Junior Circuit tournament.

Leading Host Nation’s Challenge
It is to some extent the same for Tatiana Kukulkova and Ema Labosova who lead the host nation’s challenge in Senec; the best performance being a quarterfinal finish for Ema Labasova one year ago in Slovakia.

No ITTF World Junior Girls’ Singles titles as yet for the host nation’s duo but, in addition to Adriana Diaz, there is one further player on duty who has gained the accolade.

Selena Selvakumar
The name of India’s Selena Selvakumar appears on the list; earlier this year she won in Qatar.

A total of 34 players will compete in the Junior Girls’ Singles event.

Visit the official page of the 2016 ITTF Slovak Junior Open for entry list, prospectus and more.

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