The Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) is mourning the death of retired Filipino sprint queen Lydia de Vega, PATAFA chief and Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez said on Friday.
“We have lost a great athlete who was once called Asia’s fastest woman for ruling the 100-200-meter dash events. She did her country proud by bringing home multiple medals from competitions in the 1980s-1990s. A grateful nation is in grief,” he said.
Rodriguez said De Vega won multiple gold and bronze medals in the Asian Games, Southeast Asian Games and Asian Athletics Championship from 1981 to 1991, and represented the country in the 1984 and 1988 Summer Olympics.
She last competed in October 1994 in the Manila-Fujian Games, where she won the 100-meter event, he said.
“I had the privilege of cheering for her at the top of my voice in some of her international track events where she won gold medals, and stood proudly as our national anthem was played and the Philippine flag was raised as she stood victorious at the podium. I was then Region 10 PATAFA Director”, Rodriguez added.
“Maraming salamat Lydia de Vega sa karangalan na ibinigay mo sa bansa. Our prayers and condolences are with her family at this difficult time,” Rodriguez added.
In behalf of PATAFA, the lawmaker thanked “all the kind souls” who supported De Vega while she was active in sports and in retirement.