Trio of triathletes at the Youth Olympic Games

Yesterday I blogged about the Youth Olympic Games currently taking place in Singapore. The first YOG medal was awarded to Yuka Sato of Japan for triathlon, she completed the 750m swim, 20km cycle and 5km run in 1 hour and 49 seconds. I know it would be normal for me to now focus on Sato and how awesome her achievement is – and it really is, I doubt I’d ever manage to complete a triathlon, never mind do it as Sato did, in Singapore with the heat and humidity, at such a young age with so much expectation resting on her shoulders. I’m not going to do that though – the media will I’m sure.

Photo by Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games

The other line to take would be to explore what appears to be a little odd decision to put the triathlon on first – an event which is very demanding and one at which athletes are guaranteed to perform better if they’ve had time to acclimatise to the conditions. There I said it, but I’m not going to say any more.

Instead I’m going to focus on three of the athletes – but not the three you’d expect, the Gold (Sato, Japan), Silver (Ellie Salthouse, Australia) and Bronze medal winners (Kelly Whitley, USA), well ok then, I’ll talk about one of them – Kelly Whitley, then I’m also going to mention Eli Thorogood from Team GB and Wan Ci Clara Wong from Singapore.

The little snippet that struck me about Kelly was the fact that a couple years ago she had given up triathlon! Well I guess the truth as it is now is that she took a break from it, she only returned to training last November and has only taken part in one competition this year. She gave a brilliant quote:

“After two years off I knew it was time to come back because this is what I really love doing and I enjoy…I absolutely love this sport. I would not want to do anything else”.

You can read more on the Team USA site here and it includes a picture of Kelly looking pleased as punch.

So next up is Eli Thorogood, the Team GB representative in this event. You can follow Eli on twitter here and you can see an interview she gave after competing in the Triathlon World Champs in Hyde Park last month below

I know some of you won’t watch the video so I’ll pick out the key point which was that Eli was aiming to get a top 15 place – she does say she’d love a top 10 but she’d be happy with top 15. (You really should watch the video it’s only short and it’s great to see how much it means to her to be competing in Singapore). Eli is also expecting her A Level results while she’s in Singapore so hopefully she’ll be pleased with her placing – she came 13th so achieved her ambition and no doubt she’ll do just as well with her study – fingers crossed for her anyhow.

So the final person I wanted to mention was Wan Ci Clara Wong who was placed last in the event (although two athletes didn’t compete after an accident on the cycle section). I was checking out the photos earlier and the photo of Wan finishing her race summed up everything that I understand the YOG to be about – friendship, excellence and respect; about not giving up; about appreciating the whole experience not just winning medals.

Photo by Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games

So there you have it, my trio of triathletes – not quite the usual suspects but equal deserving of our appreciation and admiration methinks.

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