Asia’s Sprint Queen Lydia de Vega Passes Away At 57

Rest in peace to Asia’s fastest woman.

Lydia de Vega passed away after a long battle with breast cancer. She was 57.

Stephanie Mercado-de Koenigswarter, de Vega’s daughter, confirmed the news on Facebook. “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. She fought the very good fight and is now at peace,” her post read.

Lydia de Vega’s cancer battle

De Vega got her breast cancer diagnosis back in 2018. She was already at stage four of the disease. Mercado-de Koenigswarter that her mother underwent brain surgery last month. De Vega had been in intensive care ever since.

De Vega’s family asked the public for help during the ordeal. Donations poured in from Philippine sporting circles, including from pole vaulter EJ Obiena. He and his team pledged P500,000 to help with medical expenses.

Goodbye to Asia’s sprint queen

Lydia de Vega is one of the country’s greatest athletes. She first made an impact at the 1981 Southeast Asian Games, winning gold in the 200- and 400-meter events.

As Asia’s sprint queen, she got the gold in the 100-meter dash in the 1982 New Delhi Asiad. She won again in the 1986 Seoul Asiad where she clocked in at 11.53 seconds. De Vega was also a two-time Olympian. She represented the Philippines in the 1984 and 1988 Summer Olympics.

De Vega set a personal best of 11.28 seconds in the 100-meter event. It was a national record that stood for 33 years until Kristina Knott broke it in 2020.

De Vega retired after competing at the 1994 Manila-Fujian Games. Her last public appearance was during the opening ceremony of the 2019 SEA Games.

Lydia de Vega was Asia’s fastest woman back in the 80s. She’s a four-time Asian Athletics champion, a two-time Asian Games gold medalist, and a nine-time SEA games gold winner.

Rest in peace, Lydia de Vega.

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