London 2012 Olympic Games look out. The champions of the first ever Youth Olympic Games have their sights set on you. Over the next few months, YOG on the Road will be bringing you stories of the YOG athletes making the jump to the senior level and finding out how competing in Singapore 2010 has helped them prepare for London 2012.
First stop Mexico, where we caught up with Japanese triathlete Yuka Sato - who made history in Singapore 2010 as YOG’s first gold medalist when she clinched the girls’ triathlon title– at the 2011 Monterrey ITU Triathlon World Cup.
Yuka completed the 1.5km swim, 40km bike and 10km run in 02:02:47, finishing in a respectable 46th position in an elite field of 70 competitors including some of the best triathletes in the world.
Picking up some crucial points for her London 2012 qualifying campaign, Yuka said: “Through YOG, I feel that I took one step further, like crossing a hurdle. It gave me confidence to stand at starting grids with some pride, even in elite races.”
And the main difference between the junior and senior competitions? “It's the aura and atmosphere”, Yuka explains. “Senior elite athletes holding such a powerful aura gets me scared sometimes.”
Yuka must finish inside the top 50 in the International Triathlon Union point rankings to qualify for London 2012. Come on Yuka!
AnotherYOG athleteputting a stamp on the senior events in the the last week was British taekwondo star Jade Jones who took silver at the Taekwondo World Championships in Gyeongju, South Korea. Could London be calling for Jade next year?
We want to hear about your YOG rising stars who are heading to London 2012. Get in touch on facebook or Twitter, or email email@example.com