Table tennis’ Ian Lariba to carry PH flag in Rio

( - July 19, 2016 - 1:31pm
MANILA, Philippines – Make that two achievements for Ian Lariba.
After being the first female Olympian for table tennis, De La Salle University's Lariba secured another feat after being named by the Philippine Olympic Committee as the Philippine's flag bearer in the 2016 Olympics, Tuesday.
Lariba, who last April 17 earned a spot in the Olympic Games, is one of the 11 athletes who will see action in the multisport event dubbed as “the greatest show on earth” in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The 22-year-old Lariba is a native of Cagayan de Oro. She punched a ticket to the Olympics after besting the singles event at the ITTF-Asian Olympic Qualification Tournament held in Hong Kong.
Lariba, who has been playing table tennis since she was nine, is currently DLSU's star athlete. She has collected a Rookie of the Year citation, three Most Valuable Player trophies and an Athlete of the Year award. 
But most notably, she has towed the Lady Paddlers to three championships.
Her international career, too, is nothing short of stellar outings. In 2014, she placed first at the Division 4 World Table Tennis Championships in Japan. She has stomped grounds in two  iterations of the Southeast Asian Games as well. 
Lariba's best feat so far was being the first Filipina to qualify for the Olympics since table tennis' inclusion into the games in 1988. The third, hopefully, comes in the Olympic Games slated to kick off this August.
Lariba along with 10 of her compatriots were given a send-off by President Rodrigo Duterte himself, Monday afternoon at the Malacañang Palace.

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