Koko’s rise to sil­ver

Central Leader - - TRADES & SERVICES - TORIKA TOKALAU-CHANDRA

She’s a geek by day and a pole dancer by night.

Ryoko Ibaraki has been a com­puter pro­gram­mer for 10 years, but she’s also con­sid­ered one of the best pole dancers in the world.

Koko, as she is com­monly known, moved to New Zealand in 2002 from Osaka, Ja­pan and lives with her fam­ily in Auck­land’s West­ern Springs.

She’s the de­fend­ing fe­male cham­pion at the NZ Pole Le­gends com­pe­ti­tion. Ear­lier this month, Koko was first run­ner up in the Masters 40 cat­e­gory at the World Pole Sports Cham­pi­onship in Ja­pan.

‘‘I have no gym­nas­tics back-

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