PyeongChang 2018: Keiichi Sato aiming for the top of the world

Japanese dual-sport athlete transitions from triathlon to biathlon at Winter Paralympics 13 Feb 2018
a male Para Nordic skier

Keiichi Sato is making his third Winter Games appearance in PyeongChang

ⒸLuc Percival
By ITU and IPC

Japan’s Keiichi Sato is preparing for his fourth Paralympic Games, but third winter edition.

The Nagoya-native competed at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games in triathlon, where the sport made its Paralympic debut. Following Rio 2016, Sato completed the 2017 Para triathlon season, taking a top-10 finish at the World Championships in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

Sato now stands just weeks from PyeongChang 2018, having qualified for biathlon and cross-country skiing and once more underlining his remarkable Paralympic ‘double life.’

“I have changed my training method significantly since the Sochi Paralympics and I am aiming for the top of the world,” Sato said. “The triathlon is an endurance system. Biathlon and cross-country skiing require a power endurance system. It is relatively easy to transition from biathlon and cross-country to triathlon, but it is harder the other way round because of the very specific muscles used for skiing.”

He has been part of International Triathlon Union (ITU) Para triathlon events since his first race in Yokohama back in 2014, collecting an impressive series of wins and podium finishes over the years.

In Rio, Sato finished in 11th place, and has three top-10 finishes in the snow to his name; one in the cross-country ski relay at Vancouver 2010 and two in the Sochi 2014 biathlon competition.

“Third time’s a charm,” said the 38-year-old. “I have been cross-country skiing for 13 years and have 10 years in biathlon, but still less than three in triathlon, so I have been using my winter experiences to help my development.”

The Paralympic Winter Games take place in PyeongChang, South Korea from 9-18 March. Tickets can be purchased here.