Table Tennis Association of the Philippines President Ting Ledesma said that Philippine top seed Richard Gonzales and Ian Lariba both earned slots in the upcoming 2014 World Table Tennis Championship on April 28 to May 5 in Tokyo, Japan.
Ledesma said that Gonzales earned the world championship berth as a reward for his exemplary performance in the recent Southeast Asian Games in Myanmar, where he won a bronze medal in the men’s singles class despite of a sprained ankle.
“He [Gonzales] deserves a shot in the world championship for what he showed in the last SEA Games,” Ledesma said. “Although he sprained his ankle in the quarterfinals, he didn’t give up and won.”
“For Lariba, she also deserved that spot in the women’s class. She is still very young and promising, so we’re giving this opportunity to her,” added Ledesma.
A member of the Philippine Army, Gonzales, 42, encouraged young Filipino athletes to strive to give their best performance for the sake of national pride.
“Our young promising athletes have the potential to win gold medals for our country if they will pursue greatness by training hard and listening to the advise of their respective coaches,” said Gonzales who also won a silver medal in the 2005 SEA Games.
Gonzales also bagged a bronze medal in the recent World Liha Ping-Pong Championship in London.