- Title: Indy500's Sato responds to controversial tweet criticizing his win
- Date: 30th May 2017
- Summary: NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (MAY 30, 2017) (REUTERS) ***WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** VARIOUS OF INDIANAPOLIS 500 WINNER, TAKUMA SATO, POSING FOR PHOTOGRAPHS WITH A WREATH AT THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING PHOTOGRAPHERS TAKING PHOTOS VARIOUS OF SATO POSING WITH BOTTLE OF MILK, A TRADITIONAL SYMBOL PRESENTED TO THE WINNER OF THE RACE SATO'S HANDS ON BOTTLE (SOUNDBITE) (English) INDIANAPOLIS 500 WINNER, TAKUMA SATO, SAYING: "It means a lot to me personally. I mean Indy 500 is everybody's dream, and the ambition is very high. And I've been chasing for this for seven years, and as you said it was close by 2012 for one lap, you know, the challenge of the lead. This time the underdog spot really gave me a super opportunity to, to challenge for the winning in a very great fashion. We try and go through the midfield, and then we won it. So it's a fantastic feeling." SATO BEING INTERVIEWED (SOUNDBITE) (English) INDIANAPOLIS 500 WINNER, TAKUMA SATO, SAYING: "I think it's a good news, always open the doors, and you know got the people's attentions and the younger generations - the up and coming young Japanese driver wanted to go to Europe, and wanted to come to the states, and I think this is such a nice way to present to them a great opportunity." MEDIA (SOUNDBITE) (English) INDIANAPOLIS 500 WINNER, TAKUMA SATO, SAYING: "To be honest, I mean it was very unfortunate - the one of them that lost the job. But I respect the Denver Post's decision and the people following, and nowadays in general people thinking that was an inappropriate thing. So I appreciate that positive support." EMPIRE STATE BUILDING
- Embargoed: 13th June 2017 16:56
- Keywords: Takuma Sato Indianapolis 500 Indycar Denver Post Memorial Day Japan Terry Frei Empire State Building
- Location: NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES
- City: NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES
- Country: USA
- Topics: Motor Racing,Sport
- Reuters ID: LVA0016J179DR
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Indianapolis 500 winner Takuma Sato on Tuesday (May 30) said he appreciated the swift reaction to a sports writer's tweet that criticized a Japanese winner of the storied race on Memorial Day weekend.
Sato made the comments in an interview with Reuters in New York at the Empire State Building, where he posed for photographs following his historic win.
Sato became the first Japanese driver to win the IndyCar motor race, beating 32 other competitors in the prestigious event staged at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, known as the Brickyard.
On Sunday (May 28) Denver Post sports writer Terry Frei triggered a firestorm of criticism with his Twitter remark, saying he was "very uncomfortable with a Japanese driver winning the Indianapolis 500 during Memorial Day weekend". Frei left the Post on Monday (May 29).
Social media reaction to the post prompted Frei to issue an apology later on Sunday. Sato said the tweet was "unfortunate".
"But I respect the Denver Post's decision and the people following, and nowadays in general people thinking that was an inappropriate thing. So I appreciate that positive support," Sato told Reuters.
Sato said he was overwhelmed by the win, which he said captured the imagination of scores of Japanese fans and he hoped would open doors for future Japanese drivers.
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