Table tennis star Ian Lariba named PHI flag-bearer in Rio

ABS-CBN Sports on Jul 19, 2016 06:08 PM
Table tennis star Ian Lariba named PHI flag-bearer in Rio
Ian Lariba is the country's flag-bearer in the Rio Olympics.

Lone table tennis bet Ian Lariba was chosen by the Philippine Olympic Committee Tuesday as the country’s flag-bearer in the opening ceremony of the Rio De Janeiro Olympics.

Lariba, who played for De La Salle in the UAAP, will march in front of the Philippine delegation in the traditional parade of nations.

The UAAP Season 78 Co-Athlete of the Year and undefeated during her five-year collegiate stint is one of the 12 athletes that will campaign in the quadrennial meet slated on from August 5 to 21. The bulk of Team Philippines leave for Rio on Saturday.        

Lariba qualified in the Olympics after a successful campaign in the women’s singles event of the 2016 ITTF-Asian Olympic Qualification Tournament in Hong Kong to clinch the 11th and final Olympic berth.

She is the first Filipino table tennis player to qualify in the Games.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday during a courtesy call to Malacanang increased the athletes' allowance to $3000 from the previous $1000 stipend. Officials will recieve additional $2000 from their previous $3000 allowance.  

Going with Lariba in the Olympics are other qualifiers 2012 london Olympics color-bearer Hidilyn Diaz of weightlifting, boxers Rogen Ladon and Charly Suarez, taekwondo’s Kirstie Alora, golfer Miguel Tabuena and tracksters Eric Cray, Mary Joy Tabal and Marestella Torres with lady golfer Dottie Ardina, and swimmers Jessie Lacuna and Jasmine Alkhaldi.

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