Sprint Queen

by Manjit Singh (Coach Jit)

Wonder girl – Finally settling as doyenne to masses for her athletics abilities in sprints and jumps.

Lydia De Vega was Asia fastest women for 8 years (1982 – 1990) and current SEA Games 100m (11.28) Record Holder since 1987.

Lydia was so popular in Philippines that in 1983 – a movie (Medalyang Ginto – Gold Medal) was shown across Philippines Theaters, base on her true life story and her  achievements and then in 2004 – another 2 part series (Magpakailanman – Forever) was shown in Philippines (Channel 7) on her lifetime achievements.

Currently, Lydia is coaching Raffles Girls Secondary School, German European School (Singapore), Chongfu Primary School, MOE-JSA (Junior Sports Academy) and JSA Private Coaching students. Lydia is the only person, who have won 100m, 200m, 400m & Long Jump in the SEA Games and even set SEA Games record in the Long Jump in 1987 and had garner 20 SEA Games medals in Track & Field, 9 Asian Track & Field Championship medals and 3 Asian Games medals.

Lydia is a vastly experience coach and has the pedigree of competing, even after laying off for 2 years from track, the indomitable spirit of hers roared back stronger in 1987 SEA Games and dominated the track  with a new record in the 100m and Long Jump and 200m sprint gold followed suit. Her SEA Games 100m record of 30 years will be a force to be recon and it has remained unbroken since then and being her usual self she proclaim that “records are mend to be broken some day”.

As the effervescent Lydia always subscribe the notion to her athletes, that there’s no short cut in training, discipline, commitment and the fighting spirit is the anecdote for success. To be a good sprinter, one must also do speed endurance, endurance, have a proper foundation and training emphasis should be doable.

Lydia is still looking forward towards this challenge of moulding young Singapore athletes to greater heights and hoping to see more of them donning national colours.

Lydia’s Achievements, breakdown of her Medals and awards:-

  • 1984 & 1988 Olympic Games (Quarter finalist in both Games)
  • Current SEA Games record holder in 100m (11.28secs) since 1987
  • Former SEA Games record holder in 200m (23.37secs) from 1987 – 2001
  • Former SEA Games record holder in Long Jump (6.27m) from 1987 – 1989
  • 2 gold, 1 silver medals in 2 Asian Games
  • 9 gold, 9 silver & 2 bronze medals in 5 SEA Games
  • 4 gold, 1 silver & 4 bronze medals in 5 Asian Track & Field meet
  • 9 gold, 2 silver medals in 5 Asean Cup
  • 9 gold in 3 Asean Schools Track & Field meet

MEDALS BREAKDOWN FROM 2 ASIAN GAMES

  • In 1982, 100m (11.76) – 1st
  • In 1986, 100m (11.53) – 1st, 200m (23.47) – 2nd

MEDALS BREAKDOWN FROM 5 SEA GAMES

  • In 1981, 200m (23.54) – 1st, 400m (54.75) – 1st, 4 x 100m – 2nd, 4 x 400m – 2nd
  • In 1983, 100m (11.78) – 2nd, 200m (24.26) – 1st, 4 x 400m – 2nd
  • In 1987, 100m (11.28) – 1st, 200m (23.57) – 1st, Long Jump (6.27) – 1st, 4 x 100m – 2nd, 4 x 400m – 2nd
  • In 1991, 100m (11.44) – 1st, 200m (23.95) – 2nd, 4 x 100m – 2nd, 4 x 400m – 3rd
  • In 1993, 100m (11.60) – 1st, 200m (23.37) – 1st, 4 x 100m – 2nd, 4 x 400m – 3rd

MEDALS BREAKDOWN FROM 5 ASIAN TRACK & FIELD CHAMPIONSHIP

  • In 1981, 200m (24.54) – 3rd, 400m (55.39) – 2nd
  • In 1983, 100m – (11.82) – 1st, 200m (24.07) – 1st, 4 x 400m – 2nd
  • In 1985, 100m (11.96) – 3rd, 400m (55.66) – 3rd
  • In 1987, 100m (11.43) – 1st, 200m (23.38) – 1st
  • In 1991, 100m (11.71) – 3rd

Awards
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
  • 1993 – Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) – Sports Category
  • 1983 – International Invitation Track & Field Competition, Bangkok – Best Female Athlete
  • 1986 Southern Coast Conference, USA – Athlete of the Year

If you would like to know how the Sprint Queen of Asia was born, go to PRESS to read her clippings…… for your leisure.