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Brian Afanador and Adriana Díaz withdrawn from Olympic qualifier in mixed doubles

Adriana Díaz and Brian Afanador were withdrawn from the competition by the president of the Puerto Rican Table Tennis Federation, Iván Santos. (ENDI.com File)
Courtesy of Endi.com

The Puerto Rican rackets were looking for their ticket in this modality for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games this Saturday, but were withdrawn after revealing four positives to COVID-19 in the competition

The Puerto Rican Table Tennis Federation (FPTM) withdrew this Saturday from the competition the Puerto Rican players, Adriana Díaz and Brian Afanador from the mixed doubles event in the pre-Olympic that is being held in Rosario, Argentina, as a precautionary measure after several participants of the tournament tested positive for COVID-19.

The decision was initially made by Adriana’s coach and father, Bladimir Díaz, as Puerto Rico’s delegate in the competition, and then ratified by the president of the FPTM, Iván Santos.

As Santos explained to this medium, the determination was made after they were informed that two athletes from Venezuela, a coach and a member of the organization of the event, tested positive for coronavirus during a monitoring test carried out two days ago in the competition.  The people have been isolated beginning the interview process to carry out the proper contact tracing and disinfection of the facilities, it was indicated through a press release from the Puerto Rico Olympic Committee (Copur).

“We cannot expose the best players in all of Latin America to compete in unsafe conditions. We have seen that countries are not granted venues for events because they do not have lighting conditions, inadequate facilities, etc., which are less onerous than what the high probability of contagion to COVID -19 means,” said Santos through the release.

The Puerto Ricans would see action today, Saturday, at 1:00 in the afternoon in the quarterfinal round, after catching a bye in the first as the first seeds.

Puerto Rico, will be going to the Tokyo Olympics with three representatives in table tennis, since both Adriana Díaz and Melanie, her sister and Afanador, have already obtained their respective tickets in the singles category.

Melanie and Brian achieved their passage to the Olympics this week on the same stage where the mixed doubles tie is being held this Saturday. Adriana was the first to do so when she in 2019 was crowned with the gold medal at the Pan American Games tournament in Lima, Peru.

She and Afanador had a good chance of getting the only spot to Tokyo in the mixed doubles, as they entered the qualifier as the first seeded pair.

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