Remembering Ian Lariba, the first Filipino table tennis Olympian

Late last night, Filipina Olympian Ian Lariba passed away after a battle with leukemia. She was 23 years old. The Philippine Sports Commission broke the news on Twitter and offered their condolences to her family.

During her college days, Ian won three UAAP MVP awards for table tennis and won two Athlete of the Year awards. She competed in the Southeast Asian Games in 2013 and 2015. In 2016, Ian became the first Filipino table tennis player to qualify and compete in the Rio Olympics 2016. She was also the Philippines’ flag-bearer for that year.

According to ABS-CBN News, Ian has been battling leukemia since last year. She completed a five-day chemotherapy protocol and recently underwent an MRI for her brain and spine. She was admitted in St. Luke’s Medical Center, BGC after suffering a relapse.

Our deepest condolences to Ian’s family. May her legacy in sports, albeit short-lived, be an inspiration to other athletes.

[Inquirer Sports and ABS-CBN News]


Photo courtesy of Ian Lariba’s Instagram account

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