MANILA, Philippines – Olympian and Filipino table tennis star Ian Lariba died late Sunday night, September 2, following a year-long battle with acute myeloid leukemia. She was 23.
The Philippine Sports Commission confirmed the news on its Twitter account and offered its condolences for Lariba’s family.
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
Lariba had a storied table tennis career locally and internationally.
She was the first Filipina table tennis player to qualify for the Olympics, seeing action in the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She also carried the Philippine flag in the opening ceremonies as the country’s flag-bearer.
In her 5-year UAAP career, Lariba went undefeated for De La Salle University and won 3 Most Valuable Player awards. She led the Lady Paddlers to 3 UAAP titles.
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
However, her table tennis career was derailed in May 2017 when it was revealed she was diagnosed with leukemia.
Lariba underwent head surgery last January and was admitted at the St Luke’s Medical Center-Global City in August after her leukemia relapsed. – Rappler.com