Freeman Cebu Sports

Hasta La Vista diay

SPORTS EYE - Raffy Uytiepo - The Freeman

In my last column, I wrote the outpouring of support for cancer stricken Lydia De Vega, Asia’s ertswhile fastest woman. Although I knew that Lydia’s condition was really critical, I still believed that she would recover as miracles still happens. My sister Eloise, who’s celebrating her birthday today, died of uterine cancer four years ago. Diay, as she’s fondly called, succumbed to stage 4 breast cancer last Wednesday after fighting  the disease for four years. Diay placed the country in the sprints, winning 15 gold medals in international competitions, nine from the SEA Games.  She trashed heavy favorite P.T. Usha of India in the 1982 New Delhi Sea Games. Usha was the country’s superstar and even administered the Games athlete’s oath during the opening.  But Diay frustrated the Indian crowd when she ruled the 100m in 11.76 to beat Usha, who clocked 11.95.  Diay was also a two-time Olympian. Her 11.28 national record was unbroken for 33 years.  Well, I have several fond memories of Diay. One was  when Diay was making waves in the international scene.  I was one of her “fans” who even asked for her autograph.  On one occasion, it was Diay’s turn to ask for my signature in a National Open event. You see, I was signing the meal stabs of our Nike Team as coach and coordinating officer. Diay’s daughter Stephanie “Paneng” Koenigswarter said “She fought the very good fight”. Hasta La Vista Diay.  Run In Peace (RIP). Diay will be buried today in Meycauayan, Bulacan, her hometown.

Gone too soon

A lot of famous people died at the beginning of August. President Fidel Ramos died on July 31 at age 94, the same day as Bill Russel of the Boston Celtics. On August 8, four- time Grammy Awardee Olivia Newton John died of breast cancer in Santa Inez, California at age 74.  On August 10, former PBA player Adriano “Dong” Polistico died of heart attack at age 55 in Generoso, Davao Oriental.  One of the tallest in the league at 6’7”, Polistico won two PBA titles with Alaska in 1991 and San Miguel in 1993/1994.  He was also part of the Philippine team to the 1994 Asian Games.  Hasta La Vista and Vaya Con Dios.


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