Published: Monday 03 September, 2018

RIP Yan Lariba, 23: Olympian & DLSU Table Tennis Athlete Dies of Leukemia

Yan Lariba dead

RIP Ian Lariba. (ITF World/Flickr via CNN PH)

Ian Lariba has died. The table tennis athlete died after a long battle with leukemia on Sunday night. Lariba, known to friends as Yan or Yanyan, was only 23 years old.

Philippine sports is mourning the death of Yan Lariba, the first female table tennis athlete from the Philippines to qualify for the Olympics in 2016 in Rio. In a statement, the Philippines Sports Commission (PSC) offered its condolences to Lariba’s family.

Ironically, the loss of one of the Philippines’ brightest sports stars came as the country celebrates the triumph of its athletes in the 2018 Asiad in Jakarta, Indonesia. The Asian Games 2018 closing ceremony was held on Sunday night.

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“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,” the PSC said.

“You are truly loved and shall be greatly missed,” it added.

De La Salle University (DLSU) is also in mourning. Yan Lariba was undefeated in the UAAP for five years with DLSU. Yan She was also named MVP  in Seasons 75, 77 and 78, and was picked as UAAP Athlete of the Year in Seasons 77 and 78.

“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,” said DLSU in a message posted on Twitter. “We will miss you, Yan.”

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Lariba was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia just over a year ago.