Olympian table tennis hero Lariba passes away
Rio Olympian Ian Lariba passed away Sunday night after a long battle with leukemia.
After more than a year of battle against acute myeloid leukemia, Rio De Janeiro Olympian Ian Lariba finally found peace Sunday night.
She was 23.
It is with regret that we announce the death of Ian Lariba, she was a fighter in and out of court, she was truly an inspiration. Her funeral service will be announced soon. We pray for her and we give her family our sincere condolences.— DLSU Sports (@dlsusports) September 2, 2018
We will miss you, Yan. pic.twitter.com/0gixp2tNf0
The table tennis star, who made history by being the first Filipina athlete in the sport to qualify for the Olympics in 2016, was first diagnosed with AML in May 2017 after a series of blood tests.
Lariba, known by friends and family as Yanyan, went undefeated her entire five-year career in the UAAP playing for De La Salle University.
She was named Most Valuable Player in Seasons 75, 77 and 78 and was feted as UAAP Athlete of the Year in Seasons 77 and 78.
Our deepest condolences to the family of Olympian and Table Tennis national athlete Yanyan Lariba (@supersaiYAAAN) who passed away tonight after a brave fight against cancer.— Philippine Sports Commission (@psc_gov) September 2, 2018
You are truly loved and shall be greatly missed. pic.twitter.com/B37CbtQNqt
The soft-spoken and strong-willed athlete underwent a bone marrow transplant and was discharged from the hospital October last year.
She was a picture of hope as she started her road to recovery and a possible return to the sport she has always loved.
But January this year she experienced terrible headaches and underwent a head surgery.
Her condition worsened the following months.