(Eagle News) – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., joined the entire nation in mourning the death of Lydia de Vega, who was once known as Asia’s fastest woman.
De Vega, 57, died of cancer on Wednesday evening, August 10.
“I join the entire nation in mourning the untimely demise of former Asian sprint queen Lydia de Vega, after a four-year battle with breast cancer. My sincerest condolences to her family and loved ones,” Marcos Jr said in a statement.
“Lydia de Vega has run her last race. She has finished her contest. She has fought a good fight. Let us pray for her peace,” the President said.
De Vega placed the country on the world athletics map because of her outstanding feat in track and field.
At the age of 16, she first gained acclaim at the 1981 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games that was held in Manila where she bagged the gold in the 200 and 400 meter events. This surpassed all records set at the time in the Asian Games.
De Vega also won the gold medal at the 100-meter dash in the 1982 New Delhi Asiad, and again won gold at the 1986 Seoul Asiad where she clocked 11.53 seconds.
She also bagged the gold at the 100 meter-dash at the 1987, 1991, and 1993 SEA Games, and also led the 200 meter event in 1981, 1983, 1987 and 1993.
De Vega did not fail Filipinos at the Asian Athletics Championships in 1983 and 1987, both at the 100 meter and 200 meter events, where she bagged the gold.
She also competed at the 1984 and 1998 Summer Olympics.
Marcos hailed De Vega’s accomplishments.
The decorated Filipina athlete was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer in 2018.
Her daughter, Stephanie, said in July 2022, revealed that De Vega underwent brain surgery, and that she was in “critical condition”
De Vega died on Wednesday, August 10, at the Makati Medical Center, succumbing to cancer.
“On behalf of our family, it is with absolute grief that I announce the death of my mother, Lydia De Vega this evening, August 10, 2022, at the Makati Medical Center,” her daughter Stephanie Mercado de Koenigswarter said in her Facebook page.
“She fought the very good fight and is now at peace,” she said.
De Vega was one of the delegate flag bearers at the opening of the 30th Southeast Asian Games held at the Philippine Arena in 2019.
(Eagle News Service)