Published August 14, 2010
SINGAPORE – Japan's Yuka Sato won the first gold medal in the inaugural Youth Olympics, racing to a comfortable victory in the women's triathlon on Sunday.
Sato finished the race in 1 hour, 49 seconds. Australian Ellie Salthouse was second in 1:01:04 and American Kelly Whitley placed third in 1:01:48 seconds. The 32 athletes swam 750 meters, cycled 20 kilometers and ran 5 kilometers Sunday through Singapore's East Coast Park.
"I feel a sense of happiness, very happy," Sato said, of making history as the first gold medal winner at the games. "At the beginning, I already told myself I could do this.
"I knew this would be the first contest in the Youth Olympics which really got me motivated to go for gold. I really wanted to drive team Japan."
There were several crashes on the slick cycling course, sending South Korea's Kim Hee-sun to hospital and forcing Puerto Rico's Cristina Betancourt out of the race. Kim was to remain in the hospital for observation, International Triathlon Union delegate Gergely Markus said in a statement.
The triathlon opened the 12-day competition, which will feature 3,600 athletes, aged 14 to 18 from 204 countries competing in 26 sports across the Asian city state.
On Sunday, medals also will be awarded in fencing, swimming, taekwondo, weightlifting and wrestling.
Organizers were dealt an early blow when British diver Tom Daley announced he might not compete because of a triceps injury.
Daley, who became the youngest diver at 15 to win a world title in men's platform earlier this year, withdrew from the European Championships on Saturday and said in a statement he will travel to Singapore on Tuesday and determine later whether he will compete.
He is among the best known athletes at the Youth Olympics and was due to compete in the 3-meter springboard and 10-meter platform. Daley is also scheduled to compete in the Commonwealth Games in October.
"The team and I felt it was best not to risk it and completely tear the muscle which would put me out for three months and would see me miss the Commonwealth Games," Daley said in a statement.