MANILA – Josephine Medina, who became one of the modern-day table tennis heroes for the Philippines, passed away on Thursday night at the age of 51.
Medina became well-known after she broke a 16-year drought for a Philippine medal in the Paralympics when she won one in Rio De Janeiro in 2016.
“Josephine, Ate Jo to many, became an inspiration to the table tennis community when she won a bronze medal during the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games,” the Philippine Sports Association for the Differently Abled said in a statement. Her cause of death was not disclosed.
Apart from the Paralympic bronze, she also won the 2017 Asean Para Games gold in Kuala Lumpur and the 2018 Asian Para Games silver in Jakarta.
She would have been the heavy favorite had the Philippines proceeded with the 2020 Asean Para Games, but the event was canceled entirely due to the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.
Medina’s passing came right at the third death anniversary of Ian Lariba.
Like Medina, Lariba also made it to Rio in 2016.
They both became the first Filipinos to qualify for an Olympic table tennis event, whether it’s the regular Olympics or the Paralympics.
“You will be missed by your table tennis family. May your soul rest in peace, Jo,” the Philippine Table Tennis Federation said in a separate statement. (PNA)