Adriana Díaz takes table tennis gold in San Salvador
Adriana Díaz became a three-time Central American and Caribbean Games table tennis singles champion, winning her third consecutive gold medal in the women’s event in San Salvador, El Salvador on Tuesday.
By ZACHA ACOSTA
With World No. 11-ranked Adriana Díaz leading the way, Puerto Rico captured three medals in table tennis on Tuesday at the Central American and Caribbean Games in San Salvador, El Salvador.
Díaz became a three-time singles champion, winning her third consecutive gold medal in the women’s event at the Polvorín Sports Complex.
In the same event, junior player Brianna Burgos earned the bronze medal, as she was Díaz’s rival in the semifinals on Monday. Díaz’s cousin Brian Afanador finished with the silver medal in men’s singles.
“I have no words,” Díaz said. “This medal for me was very important. We had a hard week. I competed in all four events. I was really tired, but at the end of the day I said, ‘You’ve done it before, this is the last effort you have to make.’ I prepared myself with everything. I wanted to finish quickly and that’s what I did. I’m very happy.”
The second of four table-tennis-playing sisters defeated Yadira Silva of Mexico in the final, 11-8, 11-2, 11-3 and 11-5.
Díaz’s overall medal count at the Central American and Caribbean Games, starting with Vera Cruz in 2014, Barranquilla in 2018 and San Salvador in 2023, is seven gold, two silver and three bronze for a total of 12.
Afanador, meanwhile, once again had to face a well-known rival, Andy Pereira of Cuba. This time it was Pereira who emerged with the gold medal, winning 11-9, 11-6, 11-7, 11-13 and 12-10.
“I was trying to finish the points very quickly,” Afanador said. “At the end of the day we leave with the satisfaction that I had better results than in the past Central American Games (Barranquilla 2018). There was progress. I feel good about myself; I hold my head high. I have the confidence that I gave it my all at the table.”
Afanador’s medal count at the CAC Games grew to four gold, five silver and three bronze.
Puerto Rico’s table tennis contingent finished with two gold medals (men’s team and Díaz in women’s singles), three silver (women’s team, men’s doubles and Afanador in men’s singles) and two bronzes (women’s doubles and mixed doubles), for a total of seven medals in San Salvador.