Media boat blocks male swimmers in Olympic triathlon, causes false start – National – .

Media boat blocks male swimmers in Olympic triathlon, causes false start – National – .

The men’s Olympic triathlon suffered a rare and embarrassing false start on Monday as half the field plunged while the rest were stranded by a media boat, resulting in frantic action from a mini-flotilla of boats and jet skis to bring back swimmers.

Fifty-six men lined up on a pontoon in Tokyo Bay for the 6:30 a.m. local start, but when the starter sent them back for the first 1,500-meter swim leg, about a third found their way blocked by a camera boat.

Those who remained stranded on the pontoon saw a mini-flotilla heading towards those who had started swimming, about half of them continuing to plow despite the warning horn sounding repeatedly.

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Eventually, two jet skis combined to stop the leaders, who slowly returned to the start after undergoing a more vigorous than expected 200-meter warm-up.

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After declaring an “invalid start” without any blame for the competitors, the race started safely about 10 minutes later.

Race winner Kristian Blummenfelt said chaos had not been a major issue.

“I saw the boat and found it quite strange,” said the Norwegian. “When I dived I thought he would most likely be out, so I stayed to the left and stayed steady and tried to think of it as a positive, an extra warm-up. New Zealand bronze medalist Hayden Wilde was also phlegmatic – ultimately. “I thought ‘I had a blind start here’ and then I realized it was because hardly anyone else was around me and I felt pretty drained,” he said. -he declares.

“But then I tried to come up with a positive result – it was actually good to stretch my arms a bit after dragging a bit for 25 minutes before the start. “

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However, not everyone is doing equally well. Australian Jake Birtwhistle was kicked in the initial scrum and broke his nose, although he still finished 16th.

“It was one of the toughest swims I’ve been in,” he told the Sydney Morning Herald. “It was a foot, maybe it was even in the false start so it was for nothing too. “

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His teammate Aaron Royle, who finished 26th, said: “I just had to laugh to myself as I swam towards the pontoon to think of all the races for that to happen, it had to be. be the Olympic Games.

“I was like ‘well they’re not going to start the race because the boat is literally there’ and the next minute… I guess there was no communication between the starter and whoever was on the pontoon. . “

A statement for the world triathlon didn’t shed much light on how the confusion arose.

“At the start, some athletes were stranded by an OBS (Olympic Broadcast Services) boat and as a result we had to restart the race due to an invalid start. “


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