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Japan’s Yuka Sato etched her name into Olympic history at the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) Singapore 2010 by becoming the first-ever YOG gold medallist.

Only 18 years of age at that time, her impressive victory in the women’s triathlon kick-started a #YOGJourney that she hopes will take her all the way to the podium on home soil at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

Sato embarked in triathlon at age nine with her mother forming her biggest influence and support. In 2008, a trip to the Olympic Games Beijing 2008 motivated her to pursue her own Olympic dream.

“When I watched the triathlon at Beijing 2008, I was inspired to one day compete on the Olympic stage,” said Sato.

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“The YOG and the Olympic Games are very different events, but I feel like I’ve overcome the first hurdle. To achieve this gold medal is the halfway stage. I know that there will be hardships in my career, but when I face them I will be able to remember this feeling. It will give me confidence for the future.” she continued.

Sato has continued her winning streak with gold medals in the 2015 Tongyeong ITU Triathlon World Cup and the 2015 Osaka ASTC Sprint Triathlon Asian Cup. She also made her senior Olympic debut at Rio 2016, where she finished 15th. Continuing on her #YOGJourney, she aspires to emulate her YOG success on home soil in 2020.

“Having the Olympic Games in Tokyo is very exciting for me and for all Japanese people. Everyone is very focused on this event, and I can take inspiration and power from that. Hopefully I can use that power to qualify for the Games and win a medal.”

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