by Simon Daish
Ian Lariba enjoyed a historic year in 2016 when she became the first table tennis player from the Philippines to qualify for an Olympic Games, and Lariba also had the honour of being the flag bearer for the Philippines at the Rio 2016 opening ceremony.
Now Ian Lariba has set her sights on the 2017 SEA Games which are set to get underway later in the year and The Manila Times reports that Lariba, who recently graduated from De La Salle University, is looking to reach the medals podium when she travels to Kuala Lumpur for the event.
“I’m focusing now on our SEA Games campaign and we’ve been undergoing training since January. Our target is to reach the medal round. Of course, I would like to achieve a bigger goal, bigger than a bronze medal but we’ll take it one game at a time”, Ian Lariba.
The 2017 edition of the SEA Games will be the 29th iteration of the event, with table tennis having been contested at the competition since 1965. Lariba will be making her fourth appearance in the table tennis competition having participated in 2007, 2013 and 2015.
Well aware of her achievement in reaching an Olympic Games Lariba will head to Kuala Lumpur carrying an added sense of expectation from her country, and the 22-year-old is preparing to face tough opposition at the tournament as she attempts to win a medal.
“There’s a lot of pressure in any competition. There are also Olympians who will play at the SEA Games and newcomers. It’s everybody’s game and anybody can beat anybody”, Ian Lariba.