Olympian table tennis player Ian Lariba will lead the country’s campaign in the 8th Flexible Cup International Table Tennis Championships slated on March 25 to 26 at the Robinson’s Place Manila.
“Lariba is the country’s most sought after table tennis star today and it is only fitting that she will be the face of our national team,” organizer and Table Tennis Association for National Development President Joey Sy said in a phone interview on Tuesday.
According to Sy, seven countries have already confirmed their participation in the tournament including defending champion Singapore, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, South Korea, Thailand and Hong Kong.
“It will be a battle between some of Southeast Asia’s best players and we are really expecting a tight duel,” Sy added.
Before the Flexible Cup action, Lariba will join the 2017 Inter-Scholastic Table Tennis Tournament on March 18 to 19 at the San Beda College in Manila. Over 100 schools will compete in the tilt’s three divisions namely elementary, high school and collegiate.
The competition is part of the qualification process for athletes who wants to included in the national pool.
Lariba was the first Filipino table tennis player to represent the country in the Olympics.
She was also a two-time University Athletic Association of the Philippines Athlete of the Year being an undefeated table tennis player during her college days.