POSTED: August 14th 2010

Triathlon girl powers to historic first gold medal of Youth Olympic Games

Yuka Sato bites on her medal just to reassure herself it's real / ITU: Delly Carr
Yuka Sato bites on her medal just to reassure herself it's real / ITU: Delly Carr

SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT / Sports Features Communications

SINGAPORE, Aug 15: pan's Yuka Sato claimed the first gold medal of the inaugural Youth Olympic Games after stunning her rivals in the women's triathlon with her performance in the final 5k run. Australia's Ellie Salthouse took silver and United States' Kelly Whitley the bronze.

Some 32 athletes started the event and Sato came up third out the water in a closely-packed field before the 20k bike section saw American qualifying winner Adriana Barraza from Mexico try to break away from the pack.

However, Sato, who has already competed five rounds at elite level in the Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series, responded in Singapore's East Coast Park to finish first by 14 seconds.  Salthouse, the 2009 aquathlon world junior champion, was second in 1:01:04.

Sato said: "Knowing this would be the first contest in the YOG got me motivated to go for gold. I really wanted to drive Team Japan."

Sato, winner of the 2009 Incheon ITU triathlon YOG qualifier, is one of Japan's promising athletes. She took up triathlon at just nine, has won various Asian events and dreams of finishing among the medals one day in the summer Olympic Games.

Keywords · YOG · Youth Olympic Games · Sato · Singapore · triathlon

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