House pays homage to sprint queen Lydia de Vega-Mercado

By Filane Mikee Cervantes

August 15, 2022, 7:09 pm

<p><em>(File photo)</em></p>

(File photo)

MANILA – The House of Representatives on Monday adopted a resolution expressing its condolences to the family of Asia's sprint Queen Lydia de Vega-Mercado.

During the plenary session, the chamber adopted House Resolution 231, which also paid homage to De Vega-Mercado's contributions to the country as a world-class athlete.

The resolution is principally authored by Speaker Martin Romualdez, Majority Leader Manuel Jose Dalipe, Minority Leader Marcelino Libanan, Tingog Party-list Rep. Yedda Marie Romualdez, senior Deputy Majority Leader Ferdinand Alexander Marcos and Deputy Majority Leader and Tingog Party-list Rep. Jude Acidre.

Romualdez said De Vega-Mercado's legacy will live on in the hearts of millions of Filipinos as "one of the best and brightest shining stars" of Philippine sports.

“Ms. Lydia De Vega-Mercado not only brought honor, pride and unparalleled distinction to our beloved country, but inspired so many more athletes to follow suit and follow their dreams. Ms. de Vega has virtually put our country on the map by being, at one time, the ‘fastest woman in Asia,” Romualdez said.

The resolution will be presented to the family of De Vega-Mercado, who passed away at the age of 57 last Aug. 10.

“It is indeed with great sorrow that the country lost a word-class athlete with the untimely passing of Lydia de Vega-Mercado, but her legacy lives on and she will always be remembered as one of the greatest Filipino sports icons who brought great honor and pride to the country,” the resolution reads.

The resolution cited that De Vega-Mercado found her way to the national team and won the gold medal in the 200-meter dash and 400-meter run in the 1981 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games held at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila at the age of 16.

The resolution further noted that she then went on to win several medals, including nine gold medals, nine silver medals and two bronze medals in the SEA Games; back-to-back gold medals in the 1982 and 1986 Asian Games; gold medals in the 100-meter and 200-meter events in the 1983 and 1987 Asian Athletics Championships; and got her personal best record of 11.28 seconds during the 100-meter dash event at the 1987 SEA Games that “remained undisputed for over three decades.”

It said De Vega-Mercado, a two-time Olympian, represented the Philippines in the 100-meter and 200-meter events at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and 100-meter event at 1988 Seoul Olympics.

In 1994, De Vega-Mercado successfully ended her track and field career by winning the gold medal in the 100-meter dash at the Manila- Fujian Games.

“In 2019, she served as one of the country’s flag bearers during the opening ceremony of the 2019 SEA Games. As one of the most recognizable female athletes in the country, Lydia De Vega-Mercado’s passion, strength, brilliance and discipline made her a great role model for the younger generations of Filipino athletes in reaching their full potential and achieving their goals," the resolution read. (PNA)