PH flag-bearer Ian Lariba to get some help from jin in Rio Olympics opening ceremony
Table tennis player Ian Lariba is set to make her Olympic debut on Sunday. Jerome Ascano

RIO DE JANEIRO — Philippine flag-bearer Ian Lariba will get some help from Kirstie Alora during the traditional parade of nations during the opening ceremony of the Olympics on Friday night (Saturday morning, Manila time).

Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) first vice president Joey Romasanta said Lariba will still be carrying the flag when the Philippine delegation enters the Maracana Stadium but the flag will eventually be handed over to Alora to allow the table tennis netter to rest.

Lariba will compete in her first match in table tennis the following morning against Han Xing of Congo.

“Lariba will have her first match the following day. As much as possible, we want to preserve her arm. We don’t want her arm to be weary because of carrying the flag,” said Romasanta, who is chef de mission of the PH contingent.

“After the entry of the stadium and immediately after (we pass by) the VIP stands, we are going to transfer the flag to Elaine Alora so Lariba can rest,” said Romasanta.

“Lariba, of course, is still the official flag bearer,” he said.

The Philippine delegation will be wearing their barong during the opening rites to be held at the Maracana Stadium.

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