By Tom Degun in Singapore
August 15 - Japan’s Yuka Sato has made history today by becoming the winner of a gold medal at the Summer Youth Olympic Games as she raced to victory in the women’s triathlon here.
The 17-year-old, who currently trains in Tokyo, was the pre-race favourite having impressed on the senior Triathlon ITU World Championship Series and lived up to the hype as she crossed the line at East Coast Park in an impressive time of 1 hour 00min 50sec in hot and humid conditions.
Sato told insidethegames: "It feels amazing to win the first gold medal of these Youth Olympic Games.
"I am tired but very, very happy."
Sato, who was never far from the lead throughout the race, looked strong during the 750 metre swim and 20 kilometre cycle.
But it was towards the end of the five kilometre run where Sato truly impressed as she showed a huge burst of pace to leave her rivals trailing in her wake as she crossed the finish line with a huge smile.
Australia’s Ellie Salthouse finished in second place 14 seconds behind Sato with a time of 1:01:05 while American Kelly Whitley claimed the bronze medal with a time of 1:01:14.
The three athletes were awarded their prestigious medals on the field of play before being whisked away for drug tests.
Meanwhile Ireland’s Laura Casey finished in ninth place with an impressive time of 1:02:41 while Eli Thorogood from Aberystwyth, the first British athlete to compete in the inaugural Youth Olympic Games, finished 13th in a time of 1:03:55.
Thorogood claimed before the race that she was aiming to finish in the top 15 so will no doubt be delighted with her performance in a strong 32 woman field.
The women’s triathlon officially started he 12-day event which will feature 3,600 athletes ages 14 to 18 from 204 countries competing in 26 sports across the Asian city state.
There will be more medals awarded on today in fencing, swimming, taekwondo, weightlifting and wrestling while the men’s triathlon will take place at East Coast Park tomorrow morning.
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