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Sato wins First Gold Medal of the Inaugural Youth Olympic Games

B.C.'s Ridenour finishes 14th.

Japan’s Yuka Sato claimed 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 on the podium, while Kelly Whitley (USA) finished in 3rd.

32 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 with other 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 few seconds room from the winner.

However, Sato, who has already competed five rounds of Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series in elite level this year, showed the best performance today to thousand of local crowds hitting up Singapore’s most beautiful beach East Coast Park, finishing 1st by 14 seconds. 2009 Aquathlon World Junior Champion Ellie Salthouse (AUS) finished in 2nd with the time of 1:01:04, followed by Kelly Whitley of USA. Cowichan Bay’s Christine Ridenour led the swim with a 9:28 clocking, and ended up 14th.

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. Really wanted to drive Team Japan!!”

Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games – Top 10 Women (August 15, 2010)

Sprint Triathlon – 750m swim, 20K bike, 5K run

1. Yuka Sato (JPN) 1:00:49

2. Ellie Salthouse (AUS) 1:01:04

3. Kelly Whitley (USA) 1:01:13

4. Adriana Barraza (MEX) 1:01:48

5. Eszter Dudas (HUN) 1:01:55

6. Fanny Beisaron (ISR) 1:02:07

7. Marlene Gomez (GER) 1:02:27

8. Maddie Dillon (NZL) 1:02:34

9. Laura Casey (IRL) 1:02:40

10. Monika Orazem (SLO) 1:03:09

14. Christine Ridenour (CAN) 1:04:07

For full official results, please go to Singapore 2010 official website.