Ian Lariba braces for table tennis duel vs Olympic idols
Once dreaming of trading sh tots with her idols, netter Ian Lariba now gets a chance of a lifetime to wage war against them as she qualified for the table tennis women’s singles event in the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Looking up to the table tennis heavyweights from China and Japan, the La Salle varsity is happy to have the rare opportunity, saying, “The level of competition in table tennis in the international arena is very tough and very tight. I’m privileged to be part and to join that kind of competition.”
However, Lariba isn’t satisfied by just making it to the tournament.
“As my coach said, the important thing is you make your own name in this field. I hope to be at par with my idols and compete with them,” the 21-year-old said. “It’s a privilege to compete against them, but at the same time, it gives me a chance to overcome myself and get better every day.”
Being the first Filipino table tennis player to make it to the Olympics, Lariba is hoping to set the standard for future athletes who aspire to make it this far.
“Even to me, it really came as a surprise. It’s really also a matter of right timing and proper training, determination to reach that point,” she said. “After I qualified for the Olympics, it truly boosted my self-confidence in showing that we Filipinos can compete internationally.” JE