Ian Lariba falls to Xing Han of Congo in Rio Olympics
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Philippine table tennis Olympian Ian Lariba lost to Xing Han of Congo, 11-7, 13-11, 11-9, 11-7, on opening day of the 2016 Rio Olympics on Saturday, August, 6 at the Riocentro Pavilion 3 in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
The loss for Lariba in the preliminary round eliminates her from the women’s singles competition of the table tennis event at the Olympics, while her opponent will move on to the first round to face Suthasini Sawettabut of Thailand.
Xing, a naturalized player for Congo, raced off to a quick start in the first game and held off Lariba, 11-7, to go up 1-0.
In the second game, it was Lariba who put up an early lead by scoring the first 3 points, but Xing was able to catch up and both competitors eventually tied at 10 to force an extension.
(PROFILE: Rio 2016: Ian Lariba)
The duo exchanged scores again for an 11-11 draw, but on the next two rallies, a conversion by Xing and service error from Lariba cost the Filipina her second game, 13-11.
Lariba started slow again in the third game by going down 5-1, although was able to catch up and trim the deficit to one, 10-9, thanks to consecutive service errors by Xing who nearly squandered what looked like an easy win. However, on the next rally, Lariba went long on an attack to lose 11-9 and fall behind in the match, 0-3.
Xing started the fourth game with more momentum again and stayed ahead the rest of the way to complete the 4-0 sweep.
Lariba, ranked number 325 in the world and facing an opponent ranked number 161, displayed impressive defense with Xing’s powerful attacks but had issues with errors during the 33-minute match. Out of her 34 total points, 13 were from points won on her own serve.
Lariba, who also gave up 27 points lost on her own serve, entered the match seeded number 65 while Xing was at 58.
Lariba's elimination leaves the Philippines with 12 remaining athletes in the hunt to end the country's 20-year medal drought at the Olympics. – Rappler.com