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Yuka Sato is interviewed by the Japanese media after her historic YOG gold medal
YOG history for Sato, Japan, Asia


15 Aug 2010
Singapore: The first gold medal of the first Youth Olympic Games went to an Asian athlete --  Japan's Yuka Sato in the women’s triathlon at East Coast Park on Sunday morning. The 18-year-old Sato stunned the field with her dominant performance in the final 5-km run, crossing the line ahead of Ellie Salthouse (Australia) and Kelly Whitley (USA). A total of 32 young female triathletes from around the world were lined up at the starting grids to decide the first medal winners of the YOG.

Sato came up third from the 750-metre swim and was in sixth place after the 20-km cycle before turning on the heat in the final discipline in front of thousands of cheering fans on this popular stretch of beach. Sato, who has already competed in five rounds of the Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series at elite level this year, showed her best performance to cross the line in 1 hour and 49 seconds – over 14 seconds clear of the field.

Asked about her feelings on being the first gold medal winner at the first YOG, Sato said: "I made it! I knew this would be the first contest in the YOG, which really got me motivated to go for gold. I really wanted to drive Team Japan!"

Sato took up triathlon aged nine with the encouragement of her mother and has emerged as one of Japan’s most promising athletes. Her achievements have included winning the 2009 Incheon ITU Triathlon Asian YOG Qualifier, the 2010 Sendai Bay ITU Triathlon Asian Cup and 2010 Amakusa ITU Triathlon Asian Cup in Elite categories.

Her dream is to become an Olympic medallist, with London 2012 her big target after this memorable success in Singapore.

Result: 1, Yuka Sato (JPN) 1:00:49; 2, Ellie Salthouse (AUS) 1:01:04; 3, Kelly Whitley (USA) 1:01:13.
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