Speed boat causes crazy false start at Olympic triathlon
A third of the competitors were blocked by a boat.
The Olympic men's triathlon got underway in bizarre circumstances after suffering a false start because a boat was in the way.
As the gun went off to mark the start of the opening 1,500 metre swim leg, around a third found their jump off the pontoon blocked by a camera boat.
Only half of the triathletes were able to enter the water, with the powerboat launching itself into a rapid reverse to get out of the way.
The group that had entered the water, which included British competitor Alex Yee, were quickly stopped by a swarm of boats and jet skis, with the alert horn also sounding repeatedly to let them know that something had gone wrong.
An absolutely WILD start to the men's triathlon.
A TV boat with twin outboard motors was sitting in the way as the starting gun was fired, then tried to reverse out as the athletes dove into the water.
It caused a race restart, but luckily no one was injured. pic.twitter.com/TKkPbaWNSK
— Joe Pompliano (@JoePompliano) July 25, 2021
This wasn't enough to stop the leaders undergoing an arduous 200 metre swim before having to return to the pontoon and line up again. The race eventually got underway 10 minutes later.
The race was won by Norwegian athlete Kristian Blummenfelt, with Team GB's Alex Yee picking up a silver medal. After the race, Blummenfelt gave his thoughts on the incident.
"I saw the boat on the left side and found it quite strange that the starting bell came.
"I felt that the boat was still in front of the left side of the pontoon, so when I jumped in, I thought that this would most likely be pulled back and go for another start.
"I just tried not to go too slow but keep a little bit left and look at it in a positive way that I actually got a little pre warm up before the start."
BBC commentator Matt Chilton described the start as a "shambles," saying he had "never seen anything like that before at the start of a triathlon - let alone one at the Olympics."
Meanwhile, in the BBC studio GB triathlete Non Stanford said: "I've never seen that - definitely not in the Olympics. Hopefully the guys who did jump in, it didn't affect their race too much."