First Gold Medal of the inaugural Youth Olympic Games goes to Yuka Sato of Japan

First Gold Medal of the inaugural Youth Olympic Games goes to Yuka Sato of Japan

By Masa Takaya on 15/08/10 at 4:15 am

Japan’s Yuka Sato claimed the first gold medal at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games, stunning the women’s triathlon competition with her dominant performance in the final 5k run. Ellie Salthouse (AUS) finished in 2nd, while Kelly Whitley (USA) rounded out the podium in 3rd.

Thirty-two young athletes from all around the world were lined up at the starting grids this morning to decide the first medal winners of the Youth Games.  Sato came up 3rd from the water, but the 750m swim did not create a decisive gap between the favorites.  A big lead pack of 18 athletes came together during the 20k bike.  At the exit of the second transition, American YOG Qualifier winner Adriana Barraza (MEX) tried to break away from the pack, creating a gap of only a few seconds.

However, Sato, who has already competed five rounds of Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series at the Elite level this year, showed the best performance of the day, finishing the final run 14 seconds ahead. Sato was cheered to the finish by thousands of fans lining Singapore’s East Coast Park.  2009 Aquathlon World Junior Champion Ellie Salthouse (AUS) finished in 2nd with the time of 1:01:04, followed by Kelly Whitley of USA.

Asked about the feeling as a first-medal winner, 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!”

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