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Azores surfing girl-wonder dies, aged 20

The Azores surfing community is in shock today with the news that one of their rising female stars has died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning.

The circumstances of 20-year-old Tânia Oliveira’s death were not immediately explained, though tabloid Correio da Manhã has published a follow-up story in its Wednesday edition saying it was down to a faulty water heater in a bathroom.

PJ police are reported to be still investigating to see whether this was an accident “provoked by a fault”, or whether any kind of negligence may have been involved.

The “happy girl” who was runner-up at the Portuguese national surf under-18 championship in 2017 and finished 20th in this year’s Liga MEO Surf competition was also an accomplished acrobatic gymnast.

She died in Ponta Delgada, on the island of São Miguel on New Year’s Day.

Marking respect, surfing website Surftotal described how Tânia “won everything there was to be won and was unbeaten champion in all the categories she contested.

“This is a very sad moment, totally unexpected, an inestimable loss” it added, saying local surfers would never forget the memories of Tãnia’s “fleeting passage through this life”.

CM sought out a number of people who knew the young sportswoman, all of them devastated.

The paper explained that it was Tânia’s brother who found her, after realising that she had gone for a shower in the house where they were spending New Year, but hadn’t emerged.

The brother ended up breaking down the door, to find his sister “already inanimate”.

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