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RIP Francisco "Tatang" De Vega

Cool_EnzCool_Enz The Sports Guy PExer
I heard over the radio this morning that Francisco "Tatang" De Vega, father and coach of former Asian sprint queen Lydia De Vega, has passed away. He was 83.

RIP

Comments

  • Jay P. MercadoJay P. Mercado Moderator PEx Moderator
    One of the most controversial figures of the early and mid 80's, Tatang De Vega was an enigma of sorts. He was hated by many because of his tight-handed ways of handling Lydia De Vega and wouldn't want to relinquish his coaching position for his daughter. Yet, Lydia performed so much better with her father around, owing to her record performances (11.28 seconds in the 100m dash done in 1987, 23.35 seconds in the 200m dash in 1986, and 54.75 seconds in the 400m run in the 1981 SEAG held in Manila), to date, still the national records, if I'm not mistaken. In fact, next to Josephine Dela Vi?a's discus throw national record set in 1971 and Consuelo Lacusong's shot put record established in 1975, De Vega owns the longest reigning national record among female track and field athletes in the 400m run, dating back 29 years ago.

    Tatang De Vega had a feud with then Gintong Alay head Michael Keon, as the latter refused to accredit Tatang in the 1982 Asian Games in New Delhi (already revised in a later post). Because of this, Lydia refused to run, forcing the hand of then First Lady Imelda Marcos to intervene and allow Tatang to come in as Lydia's personal coach. Keon resigned as Gintong Alay head but retained his position as POC President.

    While Tatang De Vega was not the scientific type of coach capable of running a track team, he also proved to be the most effective in making Lydia run her best. Of course, part of the reason for this is Lydia's preference to have her father by her side, but we can only imagine how Lydia would have fared better had there been a world-class coach teaching her the proper rudiments of running.

    RIP Mr. De Vega...
  • fresh_graduatefresh_graduate Banned by Admin PExer
    ^those records, if equaled by any Filipino in the last Asian Games, could give the country 2 gold medals.

    Sobrang ginaw ata sa Guangzhou at ang babagal ng nag-register na time.
  • oca1oca1 Member PExer
    tanda ko, ang isa sa gusot sa pagitan ni tatang at ni mike keon ay nang magdesisyon ang huli na patakbuhin at mag concentrate si lydia sa 400 i/o of 100.

    di sang-ayon dun si tatang.

    mike keon had said, lydia does not possess the physique to be quick off the starting blocks, one quality of needed of sprinters. mike keon also went on to say that lydia can be a world and olympic medalist in the 400.

    those who have seen her compete at 100 will recall she had a lot of wins coming from behind. mahina talaga off the blocks si lydia.

    i've always wondered. kung di nakialam si tatang sa programa ng gintong alay ni mike keon, would lydia have won an olympic medal at 400?

    ever the dutiful daughter, never nagbitiw ng salita si lydia tungkol sa tatay niya in public. kahit siguro tanungin siya ngayon if she think she would have done much better at 400, she may not answer in deference to her tatay.

    inis ako kay tatang nuon, dahil sampalataya ako sa progamang gintong alay. pero ngayon ama na rin ako, nauunawan ko yung concern at pagiging protective ng isang ama sa isang anak. tama man o mali, di yun mawawala.

    SLN, Tatang.
  • crocopiecrocopie Luis Suarez No. 7 ✭✭✭
    Hindi ba mas malaking risk ang injury pag 400?
  • Cool_EnzCool_Enz The Sports Guy PExer
    Thanks for the insights. Tatang will forever be remembered for his spartan-like training, which many credited for his daughter's success in major international competitions. :socool:
  • Jay P. MercadoJay P. Mercado Moderator PEx Moderator
    Oca,

    That's correct. Keon wanted De Vega to run in the 400m, an event that Keon felt Lydia's chances of faring well internationally are better. Tatang didn't want this though, as, and indicated by Crocopie, he felt that the 400m event was more injury-prone for the athlete. Note that De Vega's record in the 400m run was done way back in 1981 in the Manila SEAG when she was barely 17 years old. That time was so good back then that with further training, De Vega would have been a world-beater by the time she reached her peak years.

    Lydia De Vega was truly a rare specimen. Her long limbs served her well. She wasn't really very pretty but she was an eye candy while running because of her form - she ran with so much grace of a female athlete, unlike her opponents who ran like men. Her God-given talents would have been enhanced further had she been given the right training by world-class coaches, but then again, it would also have produced a counter effect knowing how Diay preferred her father to coach her.
  • keyser_sozekeyser_soze :::Vill Wannarot::: ✭✭
    I remember Lydia de Vega single-handedly put the Philippines in the medal tally at the 1987 Asian Athletic Championships, with her 2 gold medal results in the 100m and 200m sprints, both Asian records at that time if I'm not mistaken.

    A year prior to that, she, along with the boxers (as usual), put the country on the medal board in the 1986 Asian Games, with her gold and silver medals from the 100m and 200m races. Ironically, while the asian press where all eyes and praises to "Asia's Sprint Queen", Asiaweek even put her on their cover!, the local media (and the masa) were focused on the basketball games.
  • Jay P. MercadoJay P. Mercado Moderator PEx Moderator
    I'm not sure if I got my timeline correct. But I think the time when Keon and Tatang De Vega had a feud happened prior to the 5th Asian Athletic Championships in 1983 held in Kuwait. Keon didn't give the necessary accreditation to Tatang De Vega, forcing the hand of Tatang to withdraw Lydia from the competitions where she was one of the favorites in the sprints events. Imelda Marcos entered the picture, and gave the green light for the De Vegas to go to Kuwait and compete in defiance of Keon's orders. This didn't sit well with Keon, a presidential nephew, but had no choice but to accede to the First Lady's instructions.

    Lydia ended up victorious in both the 100m and 200m, including a repeat of her conquest of India's superstar athlete, P.T. Usha in the 200m event. A year before, De Vega upstaged Usha in the latter's hometown in the New Delhi Asian Games in the 100m event. This time, she beat Usha in the 200m run in Kuwait. She also participated in the 400m run in Kuwait and wound up third overall, behind Usha and Japanese Junko Yoshida. The Philippines won 3 gold medals in the Kuwait Asian Athletic Championships - 2 by Lydia and the other one by Gintong Alay product Isidro Del Prado (whose best performance at the 400m is 45.27 secs, to date, still the national record) in the 400m run. Other medalists, to my recollection, were the silver by Elma Muros in the long jump, Hector Begeo in the 3000m steeplechase, and the bronze by Lydia in the 400m, another Gintong Alay product Agrifina Dela Cruz in the 400m women's hurdles, and the men's 4x400 relay team led by Del Prado. I can't recall the 4th runner (not sure if it was Honesto Larce or Romeo Gido) but the other two, from memory, were Renato Unso and Jaime Grafilo.
  • keyser_sozekeyser_soze :::Vill Wannarot::: ✭✭
    Lydia de Vega looked every bit like a beauty queen in her very short athletic shorts (ang haba, at ganda ng porma ng mga legs!) compared to the lean, but muscular, P.T. Usha.. no disrespect at all, not being racist ha. basta yun yung recollection ko tuwing naglalaban silang dalawa dati :D
  • oca1oca1 Member PExer
    Oca,

    That's correct. Keon wanted De Vega to run in the 400m, an event that Keon felt Lydia's chances of faring well internationally are better. Tatang didn't want this though, as, and indicated by Crocopie, he felt that the 400m event was more injury-prone for the athlete. Note that De Vega's record in the 400m run was done way back in 1981 in the Manila SEAG when she was barely 17 years old. That time was so good back then that with further training, De Vega would have been a world-beater by the time she reached her peak years.

    Lydia De Vega was truly a rare specimen. Her long limbs served her well. She wasn't really very pretty but she was an eye candy while running because of her form - she ran with so much grace of a female athlete, unlike her opponents who ran like men. Her God-given talents would have been enhanced further had she been given the right training by world-class coaches, but then again, it would also have produced a counter effect knowing how Diay preferred her father to coach her.

    In 1984 at the L.A. Olympics, Valerie Brisco-Hooks clocked 48.83 in winning the gold in the 400. She was 24 at that time.

    In the 1988 Olympics, gold medalist Olga Vladykina-Bryzgina clocked 48.65, she was 25. Second and third finishers clocked at 49.95 and 49.90 respectively. Silver medalist Petra Muller, and bronze medalist Olga Nazarova were both 23 yrs old in 1988.

    If in 1981 at age 17, Lydia had already registered 54.75 over the same distance, manghihinayang ka talaga dun sa pagkakataon na maging Olympic or World medalist siya at her mid-20s.

    Lydia would have been at her peak by the 1988 Olympics.

    Sayang talaga.

    Hindsight?

    No, Keon knew his numbers.
  • Nightwing2Nightwing2 Member PExer
    oca1 wrote: »
    In 1984 at the L.A. Olympics, Valerie Brisco-Hooks clocked 48.83 in winning the gold in the 400. She was 24 at that time.

    In the 1988 Olympics, gold medalist Olga Vladykina-Bryzgina clocked 48.65, she was 25. Second and third finishers clocked at 49.95 and 49.90 respectively. Silver medalist Petra Muller, and bronze medalist Olga Nazarova were both 23 yrs old in 1988.

    If in 1981 at age 17, Lydia had already registered 54.75 over the same distance, manghihinayang ka talaga dun sa pagkakataon na maging Olympic or World medalist siya at her mid-20s.

    Lydia would have been at her peak by the 1988 Olympics.

    Sayang talaga.

    Hindsight?

    No, Keon knew his numbers.

    If you're fast but not quick at the blocks she should have run the 200 and 400 because she has that second wind and strong kick on the last 100 or 50 meters.
  • Cool_EnzCool_Enz The Sports Guy PExer
    Lydia de Vega looked every bit like a beauty queen in her very short athletic shorts (ang haba, at ganda ng porma ng mga legs!) compared to the lean, but muscular, P.T. Usha.. no disrespect at all, not being racist ha. basta yun yung recollection ko tuwing naglalaban silang dalawa dati :D

    Classic yun labanan nila Lydia De Vega and PT Usha dati. The Meycauayan lass versus the Payyoli Express: :socool:
  • Jay P. MercadoJay P. Mercado Moderator PEx Moderator
    oca1 wrote: »
    In 1984 at the L.A. Olympics, Valerie Brisco-Hooks clocked 48.83 in winning the gold in the 400. She was 24 at that time.

    In the 1988 Olympics, gold medalist Olga Vladykina-Bryzgina clocked 48.65, she was 25. Second and third finishers clocked at 49.95 and 49.90 respectively. Silver medalist Petra Muller, and bronze medalist Olga Nazarova were both 23 yrs old in 1988.

    If in 1981 at age 17, Lydia had already registered 54.75 over the same distance, manghihinayang ka talaga dun sa pagkakataon na maging Olympic or World medalist siya at her mid-20s.

    Lydia would have been at her peak by the 1988 Olympics.

    Sayang talaga.

    Hindsight?

    No, Keon knew his numbers.

    So true. When Diay registered her record at the 400m, I'd like to think that was through pure talent alone. You could just imagine how she would have fared with a world-class coach at her beckon. She would have easily clocked in the low 50's by 1982 and would have been broken the 50-second mark by 1986.

    The assessment on De Vega that she was weak at the starting blocks as observed by Keon and recalled by Oca was spot-on. De Vega didn't fare well, probably too conscious of false starts that normally happens to runners in the sprints. But De Vega had a fantastic finishing kick, and this was helped no doubt by her long limbs that made her strides less yet long. In the 400m, she didn't have to start off that quick, and her finish would have served her well.

    Those were the golden years of athletics in the Philippines. We had several stars back then, from De Vega to Del Prado to an up and coming Elma Muros, to Agrifina Dela Cruz in the hurdles, plus the likes of Hector Begeo, Justo Tabunda, Jimmy Dela Torre, Renato Unso, among others. I forgot the name of our international coach back then, but he was instrumental in developing Del Prado to become almost unbeatable in the SEA stage.
  • pinoyathleticspinoyathletics ATFS Statistician ✭✭
    Wow this is a great thread with some people who have considerable knowledge, i know its 9 years old now (at that time im still a student living in a run down apartment in Pasay, Manila).

    Jay i see your very knowledgable and your surname is Mercado are you Paolo Mercado?

    In response to this now its not always the quickest out the blocks who win the race, but the ones with the best middle race (top end speed) such as Bolt. Infact getting out too fast like Asafa can actually kill the middle of the race.

    This is my article below. Im still revising it.

    http://pinoyathletics.wordpress.com/?s=de+vega
  • shpeckershpecker Member PExer
    Chip,

    MWAH!

    I'll make it plain and simple why Tatang De Vega guarded Diay ala Jaworski.

    Michael Keon is on the prowl!
  • Jay P. MercadoJay P. Mercado Moderator PEx Moderator
    If I'm not mistaken, the last name of the foreign coach of Gintong Alay back then was Benson. Not sure if his first name was Tony...
  • oca1oca1 Member PExer
    http://www.philstar.com/sports/2016/02/21/1555276/tragedy-lydia-and-del


    Tragedy of Lydia and Del
    SPORTING CHANCE By Joaquin M. Henson (The Philippine Star) | Updated February 21, 2016

    ***
    It was Keon who nurtured the careers of De Vega... the toast of Asian track... in the 1980s. De Vega, now 51, bagged the gold in the 100-meter sprint at the 1982 and 1986 Asian Games, gaining the accolade as Asia’s fastest woman.
    ***
    “My biggest regret pertains to Lydia and Del,” he says. “In 1980, when Lydia was only 16, she broke the Asian Games, SEA Games and Philippine national records in 400-M at the National Track and Field Championships with a time of 54.6 seconds he relates. “(Coach) Anthony Benson and I believed that Lydia’s performance was indicative of her world-class potential in this event. Lydia even stated for the record that ‘I’m not a sprinter, I’m more of a middle-distance runner.’ Of course, this wasn’t true. The 400 is an extended sprint. The 800, 1,500, 5,000 and 3,000-M steeplechase are considered the ‘middle distance events.’ What Lydia inferred was her preference for the 400 over the 100 and 200. Over time and with the continued interference of her father, Lydia began to resist training for the 400, insisting the training regimen was too harsh for her to handle. This was obviously not the case initially because she had no problem training for the 400 from the inception of Gintong Alay in late 1979 until she broke the records in May. She preferred to concentrate on the 100 and 200 which required less stressful training and less anaerobic workouts. Benson and I with the rest of the coaching staff and those most knowledgeable about the training of Gintong Alay, were unanimous in agreeing that if only Lydia had been allowed to train peacefully, unhindered and uninterrupted, she would have blossomed into a world-class 400 runner. She would’ve reached greater heights beyond just being the ‘Sprint Queen of Asia.’”

    * * * *

    Keon says De Vega could never have beaten the American, Jamaican and European sprinters in the 100 and 200. “Her innate sprinting ability was enough to propel her to be the champion of Asia, not beyond,” he adds. “However, in the 400, she had the potential to not only qualify for an Olympic medal but to win an Olympic medal, even possibly the gold and become the first Filipino Olympic gold medalist, something we have not achieved to this day.”

    Keon continues, “At 16, Lydia ran 54.6 seconds. At the Olympic level, 50-51 seconds were and are enough to reach the Olympic final. A sub 50 second was and is enough to win a medal. The winning time of the 400 women’s Olympic event are as follows – 1980, 48.88 seconds; 1984, 48.83; 1988, 48.61; 1992, 48.83; 1996, 48.25 and 2000, 49.11. That’s why we believed that as Lydia grew older and matured both physically and mentally, she had the ability to run under 50. She had the God-given talent and physique coupled with the rigorous and scientific training of Gintong Alay to take 4 to 6 seconds off her time of 54.6 over a period from 4 to 8 years, 1980 to 1988. By 1988, Lydia would have only been 24.

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