Filipino sports icon Lydia De Vega, who was once dubbed “Asia’s fastest woman,” has died after a four-year battle with breast cancer.
The track and field legend succumbed to her illness on Wednesday at age 57, according to an announcement by her daughter Stephanie.
“She fought the very good fight and is now at peace,” she wrote in a Facebook post.
De Vega is among the Philippines’ most decorated athletes in history, having received numerous medals from the Southeast Asian Games, Asian Games and Asian Athletics Championships.
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In the ‘80s, she held the throne as Asia’s fastest woman for winning the 100-meter dash events in the 1982 and 1986 Asian Games. She represented the Philippines in the 1984 and 1988 Olympics and held the 100-meter and 200-meter run national records for over three decades.
De Vega has kept a low profile since her retirement in 1994, but she made a public appearance in 2019 as one of the flagbearers during the opening ceremony of the 30th Southeast Asian Games.
On July 20, Stephanie revealed on social media that her mother was in a “very critical” condition due to stage 4 breast cancer complications. According to Stephanie, her mother has silently been battling cancer since 2018.
Prior to her illness, De Vega worked as an athletics coach in Singapore.