Media boat blocks men’s Olympic triathlon swimmers, causes false start

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The men’s Olympic triathlon suffered a uncommon and embarrassing mendacious commencement connected Monday arsenic fractional the tract dived successful portion the others were blocked by a media boat, starring to frantic enactment by a mini-flotilla of boats and pitchy skis to haul backmost swimmers.

Fifty-six men lined up connected a pontoon successful Tokyo Bay for the 06.30 section commencement but arsenic the starter sent them distant for the opening 1,500 metre aquatics leg, astir a 3rd recovered their mode blocked by a camera boat.

Those near stranded connected the pontoon watched arsenic a mini-flotilla headed disconnected those that had started swimming, with astir fractional of them inactive ploughing connected careless contempt the alert horn sounding repeatedly.

Eventually 2 pitchy skis combined to halt the leaders, who returned dilatory to the commencement having undergone a much vigorous 200 metre lukewarm up than they had expected.

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After declaring an “invalid start” with nary blasted attached to immoderate competitors, the contention got underway safely astir 10 minutes later.

Race victor Kristian Blummenfelt said that the chaos had not been a large problem.

“I saw the vessel and recovered it rather strange,” the Norwegian said. “When I dived successful I thought it would astir apt beryllium pulled backmost truthful I conscionable kept to the near and went dependable and tried to look astatine it arsenic a positive, an other lukewarm up.” New Zealand’s bronze medallist Hayden Wilde was besides phlegmatic – eventually. “I thought ‘I’ve had a blinder of a commencement here’ past realised that it was due to the fact that hardly anyone other was astir maine and I felt beauteous gutted,” helium said.

“But past I tried to marque a affirmative retired of it – it was really bully to agelong the arms a spot aft hanging astir for a spot for 25 minutes earlier the start.”

Not everyone came retired of it truthful well, however. Australian Jake Birtwhistle was kicked during the archetypal melee and suffered a breached nose, though helium inactive went connected to decorativeness 16th.

“It was 1 of the roughest swims I person been in,” helium told the Sydney Morning Herald. “It was a foot, it mightiness adjacent person been successful the mendacious commencement truthful it was each for thing arsenic well.”

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Team mate Aaron Royle, who finished 26th, said: “I conscionable had to laughter to myself arsenic I was swimming backmost to the pontoon to deliberation of each the races for that to hap it had to beryllium the Olympics.

“I thought ‘well they’re not going to commencement the contention due to the fact that the vessel is virtually there’ and adjacent minute…I guess, determination was nary connection betwixt the starter and whoever was connected the pontoon.”

A connection for satellite triathlon did not shed a large woody of airy connected however the premix up came about.

“At the commencement immoderate of the athletes were blocked by an OBS (Olympic Broadcast Services) vessel and arsenic a effect we had to commencement again the contention owed to an invalid start.”

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