Lydia de Vega’s father-coach passes away

Francisco “Tatang” de Vega, one of the most colorful figures Philippine sports has produced, is gone.

Tatang, father-coach of former Asian Sprint Queen Lydia de Vega-Mercado passed away last Sunday of a lingering illness. He was 84.

Considered as a sports icon in both local and Asian track and field scenes after guiding Lydia to become the first woman to win back-to-back the Asian Games’ 100-meter in 1982 and 1986 in New Delhi and Seoul, respectively,

Tatang, a former member of the Meycauayan police force before turning into coaching, likewise, steered her daughter’s career in dominating, too, the Asian Amateur Athletic Association and Southeast Asian Games.

His exploits is likened to that of Angel Nepomuceno, the late father-coach of four-time world Cup Bowling Champion Paeng as one of the few fathers who, through Spartan-like training, whipped their children to world-class athletes.

His wife Mary, children Danny and Rubie, Dave and Josie, Lydia and Paulo, Delia and Allen and Susan and Randy and grandchildren request the pious readers to pray for the eternal repose of his soul.

His remains lie in state at the family residence in Barangay Calvario, Meycauayan City. PNA

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