Who will be the next President of PATAFA?
Pinoyathletes, if we are going to choose our candidate for the PATAFA presidency this January 2013, who it will be?
GTK backs down; POC polls a go
By Marc Anthony Reyes
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Athletics chief Go Teng Kok announced last night that he’s withdrawing all cases he filed against the Philippine Olympic Committee, paving the way for the holding of the POC elections tomorrow at Alabang Country Club.
Go said that he has “proven his point and stood his ground” against POC president Jose “Peping” Cojuangco Jr., adding that he has also withdrawn the temporary restraining order he filed to stop the POC polls although he said he has reasons to believe it would be granted.
Go thanked those who supported him in his fight against Cojuangco but said his success was in uniting the opposition bloc in the POC against Cojuangco’s leadership.
He added that he’s calling for an election in the Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association in January when he plans to step down after 23 years as president.
Cojuangco, uncle of President Aquino who earlier said that stopping the POC polls through a TRO is tantamount to government intervention and could trigger the country’s suspension by the International Olympic Committee, will now seek a third straight term unopposed.
- PATAFA President Go Teng Kok is no longer a persona non-grata runs for POC Presidency (pinoyathletics.com)
- Why Care about the POC Elections? (pinoyathletics.com)
- Peping and full slate win POC elections (rappler.com)
Why Care about the POC Elections?
By Sev Sarmenta
Philippine Daily Inquirer 10:22 pm | Sunday, November 4th, 2012
THE RACE for a presidential seat always grabs attention. Whether it be for the Philippine or American presidency, a class or an organization, the election for the top leadership position stirs the interest of those voting, and even those who won’t.
If you are a stakeholder in an organization, there is understandable interest because the person to be elected could affect your outlook, performance, income (in case of a corporation) and life in general over the next couple of years.
A president does not file laws per se but can provide the leadership necessary for important pieces of legislation to be undertaken by a congress or parliament.
A president is also a symbolic leader, the person you turn to for direction in a group or country. His or her speeches and announcements in media define how an administration will enact policies or solve problems. The president also represents the organization in front of foreign leaders and captains of industry.
Thus, there are good reasons to care about the upcoming Philippine Olympic Committee elections this Nov. 30.
The leaders to be elected are going to chart the course of Philippine sports over the next four years. No matter how daunting or hopeless the task may seem, we will still need leaders who will take us through the unforgiving waters of sports financing, coaching and infrastructure building.
If you are an ardent sports follower disappointed with how the Philippines has fared in international competitions in recent years, you could be jaded enough to ignore the elections. Or if you are an athlete who has been hurt by bickering and inside positioning by the powers-that-be, then you could not be blamed for dismissing this election as an exercise in futility.
But for those who still believe that with an ounce of change the true potential of our athletes can be unearthed, there is a genuine interest and concern for the POC elections.
It is really not about the personalities anymore but the issues that confront sports.
We need a POC president and leaders who will grab the bull by its horns and face the difficult tasks ahead. We need success in sports outside of the triumphs of our boxers and billiards aces to inspire us.
During the long weekend, I wondered if we should vote for the POC president and leaders in a general national elections instead of the process in place which calls for the national sports associations to vote for the next leaders.
I imagined how all of us would vote for a POC leadership andwh if the assembling of tickets and the aligning of loyalties would be as confusing as it is right now. Doing so will probably just add to the headaches of the Comelec.
Many of us care about the fate of Philippine sports but can’t vote in the coming elections. Let’s hope that those who can will elect leaders who will indeed infuse sports with a new direction.
PATAFA President Go Teng Kok is no longer a persona non-grata runs for POC Presidency
From the Manila Times, By Josef T. Ramos
(Oct 29) GO Teng Kok is no longer a persona non grata in the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) and could possibly run now as president in the upcoming POC election slated November 30 at the Ayala Alabang Golf and Country Club.
Go claimed that he got a favorable decision from the Supreme Court (SC) after it dismissed the petition filed by the POC to junk an early decision of the Pasig Regional Trial Court (RTC).
“The POC intended not to honor Pasig RTC’s decision in my favor that what POC did declaring me as persona non grata and expelled without due process is unlawful so POC petitioned to the SC that eventually dismissed the said petition,” said Go.
“The POC can’t ignore the highest law of the land,” added Go, the current Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association president. “Cojuangco is not above the law. He has no more basis to disqualify my bid to run as POC president.”
The Pasig RTC dismissed the persona non grata and Go’s expulsion from the POC family. He was expelled, according to the POC, for committing acts inimical to its member.
Despite scoring a favorable decision from Pasig RTC and SC, Go’s presidential bid relies on the final decision of the POC Commission on Election if he will be allowed to run.
For the part of POC, spokesman Joey Romasanta refused to comment on the matter saying that it is all now with Olympic body legal head lawyer Ramon Malinao.
“I can’t comment on that because I have no any idea about his [Go] text,” said Romasanta. “Our legal lawyer will take care of it and it is up to the election committee who is qualified or not of running in the POC election
Go Teng Kok Calls for transparency
1:47 am | Thursday, September 6th, 2012
“POC general assembly members should require transparency on those who want to run in any post at the POC executive board,” said Go, credited for helping current president Jose “Peping” Cojuangco win a second term as local Olympic chief in 2008.
Go, however, had a falling-out with Cojuangco and was declared persona non-grata by the POC. Still, the Patafa head commands a solid block in the general assembly of 42 voting national sports associations.
“Those who have a pending case in the ombudsman should be required [to be transparent] along with those who have multimillion unliquidated funds from the government,” said Go, calling on NSA leaders to discourage those implicated in those cases from running.
- Will MVP run for POC President? (rappler.com)
- MVP won’t run for POC president (rappler.com)
- Peping and full slate win POC elections (rappler.com)
Part 11 (Nov 2)
This document attached is the official documentation in regards to the formation charter of the PSC (Philippine Sports Commission in 1990)
Part 10 (Oct 14)
Part 9 (Oct 6)
GTK Challenges Peping Cojuanco for POC presidency
GTK guest at scoop today at 10.30
(Cojuanco accepts GTK Challenge)
PSC Wants fair selection process
Part 8 (Oct 2)
= (PSC to establish regional training centres)
(Only Local Runners Aloud in Smart Charity Run)
Part 7 (Sept 21)
(POC seperate project PSC)
Part 6 (Sept 19)
(article about the upcoming Philippine Olympic Committee elections and candidates for the presidency (POC) with nominations closing on October 24)
(Mr Cojuanco Justifies a third term)
(I really enjoy reading Mr Juico’s articles)
PART 5 (Sept 6)
- How do you solve a problem like Philippine Sports? (pinoyathletics.com)
- Trillanes wants Aquino’s uncle stripped of POC chairmanship (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Prepare to win in next OlympicsâSen. Pangilinan (sports.inquirer.net)
- SEA Games Selection and Qualification Criteria? (rev 1) (pinoyathletics.com)
PART 4 (Aug 28-30)
(Aug 29, Article by Mario Casayuran)
(Aug 30, by Joaquin Henson aka. the Dean)
(Oct 5, 2011, advised by Sally Parsonage)
PART 3 (Aug 19-27)
Rappler Q & A with Peping Cojuanco (POC President) after the Olympic Games
MANILA, Philippines — After the end of London 2012, the Philippines failed yet again in its bid for an Olympic medal.
It has been 16 years since the team has had an athlete finish in the top 3 since Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco won a silver medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
The 11-person contingent has also been the smallest Philippine delegation sent by the country since 1936.
In 2000 we had 20 athletes now 12 years later we are down to nearly half that number.
As Filipinos look for answers over the Philippine team’s dismal performance, the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), the organization solely responsible for Filipino athletes competing in the Olympics, is under the spotlight. Following team Philippines’ consecutively disappointing Olympic runs, questions and doubts over the POC’s work and efforts have surfaced.
On Tuesday, August 14, Sen Francis Pangilinan pushed for a probe of the POC and the Philippine Sports Commission to assess their effectiveness and efficiency.
“There could be some things that we fail to implement, and things we are taking for granted,” Pangilinan said in a statement asking to review the efforts of both agencies.
“There are certain minimum standards that we must always strive to achieve if we want the rest of the world to take us seriously in sports,” he added
You can read the full article by Natasha Gutierrez from Rappler here who did an email interview with POC President Peping Cojuanco aswell as some interesting comments below
Lance Armstrong plots move after ban (Aug 25, Manila Bulletin)
High-hopes-for-ph-paralympics-team (Aug 27, Daily Inquirer by Manalo R. Inigo): Roger Tapia, Isidro Villadosa, Marites Bruce, Andy Avellana
Read more below from pinoymiler article paralympics-ph-sends-9-athletes
Anvaya-triathlon-set-in-oct (Aug 22, Malaya), set on Oct 20-21 in Bataan.
official facebook page
Part 2 (Aug 18)
Also a side not 11 of the 23 articles in the Philippine Star where about Basketball.
Garcia urges NSAs to go grassroots by June Navarro, Philippine Daily Inquirer
“What are the NSA’s doing to discover potentiols” asked PSC Chairman Richie Garcia.
The PSC chief also echoed PSC commissioner Buddy Andrada’s sentiments that overstaying NSAs leader without a notable track record in terms of athlete performance should now retire.
PSC Urges NSAs To Regroup by Nick Giongco, Manila Bulletin
In this article Garcia admitted that several NSA leader had become liabilities for the PSC but getting rid of them wasnt easy. This is because the PSC is hesitant to interfere with the election systems within each NSA. The PSC is trying to put more of the blame on the NSA’s and is disappointed with the performance of the team of 11 at the olympics.
Trillanes eyes probe on Phl sports woeful state by Marvin Sy, Philippine Star
MANILA, Philippines – Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV has called for an inquiry into the state of sportsdevelopment in the country in light of the dismal showing of Filipino athletes in both the London Olympics and the Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games).
Trillanes, earlier this week filed Resolution 838, said that the Senate committee on amateur sports competitiveness, of which he is the chairman, would conduct the inquiry to determine the issues hounding sports development in the country and if necessary, craft remedial legislation to address the problems.
“We recognize the talent of our Filipino athletes and their display of perseverance, dedication, moral courage, strength of character and competitive spirit in various athletic competitions. It is very evident, however, based on our recent performances in global and regional competitions, that our country is not at par with the Olympic competitors and lags behind our Southeast Asian neighbors as well,” Trillanes said.
Read more here
Cojuangco refuses to comment on Joseph’s case, by Joseph T. Ramos, Manila Times
A criminal case was earlier filed against Philippine Aquatics Sports Association President (swimming Philippines). Mark Joseph by teen swimmer Jerome Carpio. The complaint alleged that in February 2010, Joseph sent an email message to the Penampang Swimming Association of Sabah, organizer of a swimming competition held at the Kota Kinnabalu Sports Complex where Carpio, who was then 17, was a participant. In his letter, Joseph said that Carpio and the other participants were rule breakers who tried to circumvent the PASA and Federacion Internationale de Natation rules and that their identification and ages could not be warranted as truthful.
The Olympic gold and the Floreindo Formula, by Manny Pinol, Manila Times
And finally someone who finally has some constructive and critical feedback rather than accepting are losses at the olympic games.
PART 1 (Aug 17)
NEW LEADERSHIP FOR PATAFA FACEBOOK GROUP
A New facebook group titled ‘New Leadership for PATAFA’ in a short period of time has attracted over 1400 members. After the Olympic Games some very interesting links to news articles with comments have been posted. I have listed some of the articles with brief descriptions. As I felt this was better compiled into one post rather than divided into several as we can stick to are blogs focus point which is about the sport of Track and Field. Following up from my linkage to the Rappler Interview with Pepping Cojuanco. I have decided to compile the various articles into one post.
Sports politicians rule PSC, POC, NSAs by Gerry Carpio of the (Philippine Star)
This is a very interesting article which explains the differences in roles of the PSC and POC. And how in the past conflicting selection processes have led to two segregated teams being sent to SEA Games and various international meets. It explains how in the past the divisions have led to issues within the sport and confusion for the NSA’s
Read the Full Article Here
Failure Not an Option for NSA’s by June Navarro of the (Philippine Daily Inquirer)
PSC Commissioner Buddy Andrada is stating that the government will provide more funding to NSA’s, and in return NSA are expected to increase the number of medals at the SEA Games next year in Myanmar and perform better at the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Olympics. Among the ten listed priority sports is Athletics.
Read more here
POC President Cojuanco Says No need for Sports Summit by Joaquin Henson (Philippine Star)
POC President Peping Cojuanco has ruled out the need for a sports summit after the Philippines came back with no medals from the olympic games. This article provides a full analysis of the results of are Olympians and various reasons why they did not perform well or in some cases under performed. Pepings solution is simply grassroots bringing athletes from Palaro, Batang pinoy, National games etc taking them to Baguio City for training. How is this any different to what already is being done? He also states bring in nutritional information and sports science. Shouldnt this already be in place isnt this the role of the POC/PSC and NSA’s?. It is also suggested to set up a major facility at Clark which is a good iniative. The goal is to do well at the SEA Games next year and 2014 Asian Youth Games. It is good that the POC is targetting a youth level meet for once.
Read the Full Article Here
Peping says Don’t Blame the Athletes by Joaquin Henson (Philippine Star)
Another article by Mr Henson. Mr Cojuanco tells the public not to blame the athlete with this quote
If we don’t provide for the nutrition, strength and conditioning of our athletes, they can’t be expected to deliver. We’ve been left behind by other countries that put an emphasis on sports science. No doubt, we’ve got the potential to excel in sports but our athletes must be in the best physical shape. Like in any sport, you just can’t rely on talent alone.”
It seems by taking the blame of the athlete isn’t it then the responsibility of the PSC, POC or the NSA to provide this?
Read the Full Article Here
Nothing to be Ashamed of by Joaquin Henson (Philippine Star)
This article basically says forgive and forget and move on using constructive criticism. However should the people at the top who are not getting the results out of are athletes be given a ‘get out of jail free card?’
Read the Full Article Here
PSC/Philippine National Games Full Review
(May 28-31) Dumaguete
By Pirie Enzo
Discussion Points? Ways to Improve the National Championships??
(Feel Free to comment on the above suggestions welcome)
1. Have more lavish Medal Ceremonies in between events. It instills upon the athletes a sense that meet has more importance.
2. Have lead up meets on the calendar, maybe even a National Grand Prix Series.
3. Eliminate the 2 athletes per event per team rule as this limits participation
4. Divide the meet
a) Perhaps conduct a separate National Junior Championships as this allows Juniors to compete against Seniors at the actual National Championships increasing participation
b) have a separate Relay meet which allows athletes to focus energy on individual events at the main Championships.
5. Advertise and promote the event a lot earlier
6. Find Private Sponsors to help boost the event
7. Have a more enthusiastic commentator who actually commentated during the event. Rather just reading out the event numbers and outdated/incorrect records on the program sheet.
8. marshaling for events on time
9. Incentives cash or prize for National Junior and National Records
The Philippine National Games (PNG) is a multi-sport event competition, including the sports of Track and Field (also known as Athletics). It follows the same format as the annual Palarong Pambansa (which caters for elementary and high schools) and the now redundant Philippine Olympic Festivals which ran from 2006 to 2007 (another project of the Philippines Sports Commission (PSC).
The PNG is funded and endorsed by the PSC. Although the project was reborn in 2011 in Bacolod as the 1st PSC-National Games. The event had actually been staged previously in 1997 in Cebu. The Second National Games was held this May in Dumaguete. This article will focus on the Track and Field program.
It began of as a complicated finalization as at the beginning of the year the PSC mentioned they would have the PNG May 28-31 in Dumaguete. However due to the recent earthquake in Dumaguete there was scares that the repair of the facilities to host the events would not be ready in time and made lead to cancellation or postponement of the event. In the mean time the PATAFA was preparing to hold the National Open May 17-21 in Santa Cruz Laguna. This led to confusion in the track community. Would their infact be two national meets in the space of less than a month?. After much twists and turns with the event organizers the mayor of Dumaguete finally teamed up with the Governor of Negros to eventually host the event. Thus the National Open in Santa Cruz was postponed to a much later date.
Track and Field at the National Games
Below are reviews summaries based on the daily reviews of the games by Pinoymiler Blog Founder Moriel Carreon
Their were some flashes of brilliance which could be expected at the National Games with Junior Triple Jumper Felyn Dolloso (Hypersports) overcoming several obstacles to break the National Triple Jump girls (19 and under) record (12.55m) (read about it here) and Thrower Loralie Amahit (Baguio) breaking the women’s record in Hammer.
However partly due to reasons listed in the above paragraph (event issues), attendance was at an all time low for National Track and Field meets with only around 300 athletes attending.
Several University teams that had prepared for Laguna had decided to skip the meet, while only a small group of athletes from Taipei served as the only foreign entries to this meet. (The Sabah team who are regular annual attenders did not make the trip this year as it clashed with the Taipei meet held a few days before).
The declining number of entries was high lighted further as concern in the women’s sprints event with 2-4 entries in the women’s 100,200,400,100 Hurdles and 400 Hurdles.
The eventual winner of the mens division was the well-organized team of Run for Change which focussed solely on the mens division, whereas Hypersports operating on a smaller budget finished second in the mens and won the girls division (with only five girls), Laguna won the women’s division.
Distance: Mens 800m Show Down
The most highly anticipated race of the meet was the Mens 800m between SEA Games Silver Medalist (800/1500) Mervin Guarte (Laguna) and the two Hypersports runners Paul Billones and Wenlie Maulas of Hypersports. Who had run some fast 400m times coached by Sam Goldberg leading up to the games. Read about it here. Guarte held off the fast finishining Wenlie Maulas 1.52.19 to 1.52.92 with Billones getting the bronze.
The Womens 5k was won by Floredeliza Donos (Baguio) in a ’blanket’ finish of 17.44.84 edging Mary Grace Delos Santos (Cebu) by .01s, with national team member Jhoann Banayag (Laguna) settling for bronze. SEA Games Champion Rene Herrera had a comfortable win of 9:05.84 in the Mens Steeple Chase. Veteran Buenavista won a tactical 5k race from fellow veteran Julius Sermona. With Sermona winning the 10k.
SEA Games Veterans Shine
Meanwhile in other events, SEA Games Gold and Bronze medalists Marestella Torres and Kat Santos leapt 6.58m and 6.19m to place 1-2 in the Womens Long Jump. The consistent Torres has already made the olympic B Standard with her 6.71m Long Jump the only athlete to do so in at least the last 12 years. Four time SEA Games gold medalist Arniel Ferrera (PAF-Hypersports) ruled the Men’s Hammer Throw with a throw of 55.48m and Discus. And former sea games gold medalist Rosie Villarito won the Javelin in 48.42m. Jhoann Banayag easily won the 10k in 37:36.27
In the Mens Hurdles the much billed showdown between National Record Holder Patrick Unso (TMS) and former training pool member/Taipei based Robin Darwin Tuliao (who ran #2 fastest time of all time, read about it here). Tuliao unable to make the Games but expected to show at the National Open this Month. Unso won easily with a season leading time of 14.65 in the 110m Hurdles. While his junior counterpart Michael Man-ay clocked a fast 15.06 in the heats but was beaten in the finals.
Hypersports, 18-year-old Michelle Loterte easily won the Girls Hurdles in a personal best of 15.15 over a second ahead of her nearest rivals. With the retirements of National Record Holder Sheena Atilano and UAAP Record Holder Zara Dela Virgo, and many of the what remained of the countries current best senior women hurdlers choosing to skip the meet the field was rather lacking in the womens Hurdles.
Meanwhile in the Mens Hurdles Junrey Bano comfortably won in 52.02s.
Open Womens Sprints Lacking participation
The same could be said for the women’s sprints like last year with only four in the women’s 100m which was won by Katherine Khay Santos (Baguio) 12.17, Hanelyn Loquinto (Laguna) 12.38 and Krizia Leah Apelar (HyperSports) 12.45.
Womens 100m Final (photo by Ed Karrel Gamboa)
Fil-am Apelar came back to win a two woman final in 25.04 from hypersport team-mate Lorna Olarita. While Olarita (PRISAA Champion) also placed second to Keizel Pedrina (Hypersports) who ran a 56.88 PB in a very windy final.
Meanwhile Pedrina placed second to Josie Malacad (Laguna, 1:02.36 PB) in what was also a three woman final. (Photo by Ed Karrel Gamboa)
The declining number of female sprinters participating at this meet should be of great concern as looking back to 2000 women’s 100-200-400 used to have heats, semis and finals. With this year the women’s 400m having an all time low of two entries which would have almost forced the event to not feature at all at the games.
Meanwhile in the Juniors numbers were high with UAAP sprint treble Champion Jennyrose Rosales (12.60) claiming the National Junior title ahead of Palaro Champion Maureen Emily Schrivjers (12.68) and Batang Pinoy Champion Mary Anthony Diesto. Rosales also claimed the double in the Womens 200m (25.60).
Hypersports 4×100 lineup of Olarita, Apelar, Pedrina and Riezel Buenaventura won the women’s relays. Despite the fact this was more of a B Team lineup as top sprinters Princess Joy Griffey and Luville Dato-on where not able to make appearances. The girls all-star lineup of Loterte, Rosales, Angco and Schrivjers had a complete victory in the girls clocking (49.36) While in the Mens Division the Laguna Team ruled the mens 4×100 (41.32) and 4×400.
In the Mens Sprints Archand Bagsit collected the mens-double with 21.67 and 48.50. Bagsit the SEA Games silver medalist last year, ran a tiring set of sub 48 runs at the Grand Prix in Thailand last month including a personal best of 47.42.
De Vega was Asia’s fastest women during the 1980s. One of the important chess pieces of the Gintong Alay program in Track and Field which turned the Philippines into a superpower in Asian Track and Field and inspired national pride in being Filipino. De Vega times of 11.28et,23.35et and 54.75et the Philippine National Records for over 20 years, and her marks of 23.54 and 54.75 the Philippine Junior Records. Now currently working as a trainer and coach in Singapore.
This I learnt from being an athlete, no matter what adversities atrocities towards my name it will not stop me from becoming what I intend to be.
- Lydia De Vega, Asia’s Fastest Women-
- 1984 & 1988 Olympic Games ( quarter finalist in both games )
- Currently SEA Games record holder in 100m ( 11.28secs ) since 1987 & former 200m record holder ( 23.35secs ) from 1987 to 2001
- Asia fastest women for 8 years from 1982 – 1990
- 2 gold, 1 silver medals in 2 Asian Games
- 4 gold, 1 silver & 4 bronze medals in 5 Asian Track & Field meet
- 9 gold, 2 silver medals in 5 SEA Games
- 9 gold, 2 silver medals in 5 ASEAN Cup
- 9 gold in 3 ASEAN Schools Track & Field meet
- Philippines Sports Writers Association ( PSA )
- 1981 – Athlete of the Year
- 1986 – Athlete of the Year
- 1987 – Athlete of the Year
- 1992 – Major Award
- 1993 – Major Award
- 1994 – Special Award
- 1998 – Athlete of the Century
- 1999 – Millennium Athlete
- Sports Columnist Organisation of the Philippines ( SCOOP )
- 1981 – Athlete of the Year
- 1986 – Athlete of the Year
- 1987 – Outstanding Achievement Award
- 1993 – Athlete of the Year
- 1994 – Hall of Fame
- Ten Outstanding Young Men ( TOYM )
- 1993 – Sports Category
- International Invitation Track & Field Competition, Bangkok
- 1983 – Best Female Athlete
- Southern Coast Conference, USA
- 1986 – Athlete of the Year
Brief Story of Lydia De Vega ( Partly Extracted from Athletics Digest 1983, Singapore and modified by Pirie Enzo):
Lydia De Vega was born December 12 1964 in Meycauayan Bulacan, her father was the late Francisco ‘Tatang’ a police man whose rigid coaching would turn De Vega into are countries most successful and well known female track and field athlete, her mother Mary gave Tatang ten children. Lydia first found her talent for sprinting at the age of 12, and would enjoy a career that spanned 17 years.
“He controlled my life. Gusto niya sundin ko lahat ng sinasabi niya. Wala siyang
mali sa ginagawa niya sa akin. Siyempre umiyak ako. There were times I felt I
was dying. Each and every workout, I have to finish. Walang pahi-pahinga. Pag
nagkamali, sasaktan, sasabihan ng masasama,” – Lydia would later say of her father.
Track Queen Lydia De Vega from the Philippines During all the Asian Games in Delhi, sheer joy and deep disappointment were never as closely connected as after the 100 metres victory of Lydia De Vega. The 18-year-old PE student and film actress from the Philippines had won the final comfortably and unchallenged in excellent 11.76secs but had injured herself after breaking the tape. A pulled muscle prevented her from participating also in the 200 metres. But still, a dream had become true when Lydia crowned herself as the fastest women in Asia; a dream of a 14-year-old schoolgirl who had started to compete in Track & Field meets with a promising 27.5secs for the 200m and the silver medal in the Philippines National Junior Championship and who added a fourth place in the 100m to this success.
That was four years ago in 1978. Only one year later, in 1979 at the age of 15 years, Lydia De Vega already represented her country in the 3rd Asian Track & Field Championship in Tokyo. With a leap of 5.47 metres she came in 7th in the Long Jump competition but also carried home a bronze medal when she came third in the women’s 4x400m relay with her team mates Lorena Morcilla, Carmen Torres and Myrna Ayo.
Still in 1979, Lydia won herself three gold medals in the ASEAN School Championship in Singapore. She took the titles in the 100m in 12.5 seconds, in the 400m in 58.0secs and in the Long Jump with a leap of 5.27 metres. But Lydia also won a silver medal in these Games when her 4x100m relay came in second to Malaysia. On the other hand the Games was already showed very clearly that Lydia was always in danger to be over burdened with too many races in just in a single meet.
This applies also to her participation in the 10th SEA Games in Jakarta, still in 1979. Within four days of competition she took part in the 400m, 4x100m relay, 4x400m relay ( in which she came 5th each ), in the 100m ( in which she was placed 6th and recorded her best result of the Games when she clocked 12.38secs in the heats ), and in the Long Jump in which she came 7th with a performance of 5.45 metres.
To cut down her competition programme she resigned from taking part in the Long Jump after having taken the title in this event in the national junior meet of that year.
Young Lydia made the news headlines when she won both the 200m and 400m in the first ever ASEAN Cup in Jakarta with times of 24.53 and 55.83 seconds respectively and when she got a ranking in the Asian top-list with 12.0secs in the 100m, 24.53 seconds in the 200m ( this as Asia’s number four ), and with 54.6secs over the 400m, the best time recorded in the one-lap event by an Asian women in that year.
With two silver and one bronze medals in the 4th Asian Track & Field Championship in Tokyo, Lydia De Vega had a flying start into the 1981 season. With a time of 55.39secs, she was second to Japan’s Yunko Yoshida in the 400 metres. In the 200m, she clocked 24.54secs to take the bronze behind the Japanese couple Emiko Konishi and Tomi Ohsaka. Her silver came in the 4x100m relay in which the Philippines team was placed second behind the Malaysia following the disqualification of the winning Japanese team.
At the end of the 1981 season, Lydia De Vega became the undisputed star of the 11th SEA Games in Manila. She assured for the gold medals in the 200m and 400m with outstanding 23.54secs in the shorter distance ( only Chi Cheng was faster in Asia ever) and with 54.75secs in the metric quarter-mile (these marks are still the Filipino Junior Records). Silver medals in both relay events completed her success but again showed the danger of being burdened with too many races at the same occasion.
After leaving school and taking up studies in PE at the Far Eastern University in Manila, Lydia De Vega also started an interesting job as a film actress; first in a movie showing the slow but steady progress of an athlete from the modest very beginnings at grass rootS level up to setting records and winning gold medals. Her father, Francisco ‘TataNg;’ De Vega, who is also her coach, expressed his views about Lydia’s engagements when asked about her future plans, “Studies first, Sports second, Film third.”
Gold medals were of course also on Lydia’s programme for 1982. Unchallenged again she won herself a triple crown in the 2nd ASEAN Cup in Kuala Lumpur with times of 11.8secs for the 100m, 24.2secs for the 200m and 55.0secs for the 400 metres. Having also won a bronze with her team in the 4x400m relay she had to cancel her participation in the sprint relay due to to slight injury which she got in the 400 metres.
This was only three weeks prior to the 9th Asian Games in New Delhi. In the Indian capital, Lydia seemed to be all right again when she won her heat in the 100m in excellent 11.77secs and clipped off another 1/100 secs winning the finals from India’s P. T. Usha (11.95secs) and Korea’s Mo Myung Hee (11.99secs), both of her opponents never being able to endanger the fleet-footed track queen from the Philippines. But Lydia had to cancel her participation in the 200m due to new pains caused by her old injury after her triumphant showing in the 100 metres.
Year Age 100m 200m 400m
1978 14 years 13.2 27.5
- 1979 15 years 12.1 26.6 58.8
1980 16 years 12.0 24.53 54.6
1981 17 years – 23.54 54.75
1982 18 years 11.76 24.20 55.0
(…..The Story Continues)
De Vega went onto take the sprint double the following year at the Asian Track and Field Championships in Kuwait, with 11.82 and 24.07 and bronze in the 400m in 55.66. Defeating her Indian rival P.T. Usha in the 200m, with Usha getting back in the 400m. She became one of very few Filipino Track and Field athletes to win the Asian Games and Asian T&F titles.
For her efforts that year Lydia De Vega was sent to the World Championships in Helsinki, Finland finishing fifth in her heat in 11.74 (+2.1) and then landed last in her quarter-final in 11.90 (which was won by Germany’s Marita Koch, with none other than Jamaica’s long hauler Merlene Ottey placing second).
Lydia represented the Philippines in 1984 at the Los Angeles Olympic Games she made the quarter finals again at a major championship this time finishing 6th in 11.97 in the quarters. At the Asian Track and Field Champs the next year De Vega ended up with the bronze to PT Usha.
The following year however after bypassing the sea games she defended her Asian Games title in Jakarta, Indonesia with a win of 11.53 over Usha and a blanket finish 23.44 to 23.47 silver to Usha in the 200m.
“Opo nga, mabilis siya, but you know, I ran and I fast:” By Lydia de Vega after beating PT Usha of India in the 1985 Asian Games.
De Vega continued her winning form with a Philippine and still standing SEA Record in the 100m at the SEA Games clocking 11.28 and also reclaimed the 200m title in 23.57. As noted above a false start distracted De Vega from the task of breaking the asian record of Chi Cheng.
She also won the double 100/200 at the Asian Athletic Championships in Singapore again with 11.43 and a National Record of 23.38. Attending her second Olympic games 1988 in Seoul , Korea her 11.67 this time not good enough to qualify past the heats. De Vega would take the next few years off to raise a family her first daughter Stephanie born in 1989 (2 other children followed one tragically killed in a jeepney accident in 2001).
De Vega made a comeback in 1991 recapturing the sea games 100m title with 11.44. De Vega retired on a high note after the 1993 SEA Games in Singapore winning the 100m in 11.60 and also breaking the 200m National Record with a run of 23.37.
In a career that spanned a decade and a half Diay brought home over 40 gold medals from international meets. Until today she remains the countries greatest ever female sprinter. With her 100-200-400m marks still standing. The Contributions of her late-father Francisco ‘Tatang’ De Vega helped shape and develop her to the very best of her abilities. Her feats in Track and Field captured the hearts and minds of the Filipino people.
“Sports has had a great impact in my life. It gave me the opportunity to bring prestige to my country and molded me into what I am today. I want my children to experience the same.”
The main content of this article is from the site below. However i did add and modify some of it.
Other Interesting Links
- Elma Muros the SEA Games Heptathlon Queen (pinoyathletics.com)
- 30 Years Ago:1982 ASEAN Schools (pinoyathletics.com)
- 1982 Palarong Pambansa: 30 years on (rev 1) (pinoyathletics.com)
- Palarong Pambansa 1983 (pinoyathletics.com)
- Muros wins one of several golds at the Asian Masters (pinoyathletics.com)
- The Reign of Amelita Alanes our Third Great Women Sprint Champion (pinoyathletics.com)