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DLSU table tennis standout Ian Lariba qualifies for 2016 Olympics

MANILA, Philippines - The ball bounced Ian Lariba's way on Saturday, April 17 as the table tennis standout from De La Salle University earned a spot in the 2016 Olympics after topping the women's singles event at the ITTF-Asian Olympic Qualification Tournament in Hong Kong.

The 22-year-old Lariba, a native of Cagayan de Oro, defeated Lilis Indriani of Indonesia to book the 11th and final ticket to Rio De Janeiro in her event. Lariba, who was named UAAP co-Athlete of the Year in Season 77 and is a two-time reigning UAAP women's table tennis MVP, is the first Filipino to qualify for the Olympics in this event since it was first included at the 1988 Games.

 Lariba won the classification phase over Maha Faramarzi of Qatar, 11-5, 11-1, 11-7, 11-4, before outplaying Mahjobeh Omran of Iran, 11-6, 15-13, 11-8, 7-11, 10-12, 11-8. She was then stopped by her Thai opponent before winning against her Indonesian foe, according to a press statement from the Table Tennis Association of the Philippines (TATAP).

Lariba joins boxers Charly Suarez and Rogen Ladon, weight lifter Hidlyn Diaz, taekwondo jin Kirstie Elaine Alora and athlete Eric Cray as Philippine athletes who have qualified for the Rio Olympics. – Rappler.com