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Rio bets Lariba, Alora to train abroad

Olympic-bound Ian Lariba of table tennis and Elaine Alora of taekwondo eye foreign exposures in the next two months to bolster their preparations for the 2016 Rio Games set in August.

Lariba, the first Filipino table tennis player to qualify in the Games, is scheduled to compete in the Japan Open in Tokyo on June 13 to 19, as well as the Korean Open on June 23 to 28.

The Cagayan de Oro native will also compete in the ASEAN University Games in Singapore on July 9 to 19 in Singapore.

Alora, the lone Filipino taekwondo bet, meanwhile, is seeing action in the Korean Open International Taekwondo Championships in Gyeongju on June 26 to July 5.

Lariba and Alora, who earned Olympic berths only last month, both said they needed foreign exposures due to their limited training time to improve their techniques and strategies on their way to the Games.

Competition is stiff in both of their disciplines, but Lariba and Alora remained unfazed of the challenge ahead as they aim to make an impact in their respective events.

“I hope that I can give the best version of my game in the Olympics. Everything will follow naman after that,” said Lariba in yesterday’s PSA Forum at Shakey’s Malate.

“Malaking bagay din yung ma-expose kami with other foreign players during our Olympic preparations, but we are also cautious na hindi ma-injured. We want to be in our best shape pagdating sa Olympics,” added Alora, who will be competing in the +67kg weight class.