Lariba, Alora ready for Rio

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Table tennis player Ian Lariba and taekwondo jin Kirstie Elaine Alora announced their readiness to compete in the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from August 5 to 21.

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Lariba, who qualified for the Olympics by finishing 11th in the recent Asian Table Tennis Olympic Qualifying in Hong Kong, said that competing in the Olympics would definitely be the most challenging part of her career as an athlete.

“Playing in the Olympics is really unexpected on my part but since I already qualified, I will give all my best to win [in Rio]no matter what [happens],” Lariba told The Manila Times during the TV 5 news conference on Tuesday.

“There’s always a pressure wherever you go because of what is at stake that’s why I have to do my best in every match,” added the 21-year-old, fifth year Financial Institution student at La Salle. “I’m enjoying my break so far before I return to active training on May 4.”

“There is a plan that I will train in Korea and play in different pro tours before going to Olympics, but that is yet to be finalized. I will go home to Cagayan De Oro this weekend to visit my parents,” added Lariba, who is under the tutelage of former Korean Olympian Kwon Misook.

The 26-year-old jin Alora said that she would do her very best to win the country’s first Olympic gold medal despite the high level of competition.

“This is the Olympics and there’s a pressure but I’ll just do my best. I will train hard and listen to my coaches. I might compete in the Korean Open this year to get some exposures,” the three-time Southeast Asian Games gold medalists said.

Alora is the first Filipino jin to qualify for the Olympics since the 2008 Beijing Games when Marie Antoniette Rivero and Tshomlee Go represented the country in the sport.

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