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Tokyo Olympics men's triathlon race hit by rare false start

The men's Olympic triathlon suffered a rare false start on Monday (Jul 26), leading to some frantic action from associated boats to get the message over to the initially unaware swimmers.

Tokyo Olympics men's triathlon race hit by rare false start

Athletes start the Tokyo Olympics men's triathlon final at Odaiba Marine Park on Jul 26, 2021. (Photo: Reuters/Hannah Mckay)

TOKYO: The men's Olympic triathlon suffered a rare false start on Monday (Jul 26), leading to some frantic action from associated boats to get the message over to the initially unaware swimmers.

Fifty-six men lined up on a pontoon in Tokyo Bay for the 6.30am (5.30am, Singapore time) local start, but as the starter announced "on your marks" around two-thirds of them dived in early for the 1,500m swim leg.

Athletes in action during the Tokyo Olympics men's triathlon final at Odaiba Marine Park on Jul 26, 2021. (Photo: Reuters/Hannah Mckay)
Athletes in action during the Tokyo Olympics men's triathlon final at Odaiba Marine Park on Jul 26, 2021. (Photo: Reuters/Hannah Mckay)

With those left on the pontoon hoping they had done the right thing, a mini-flotilla of boats and jet skis flew into action to head off the group, with around half of them still ploughing on regardless despite the alert horn sounding repeatedly.

Eventually, two jet skis combined to stop the leaders, who returned slowly to the start having undergone a more vigorous 200m warm-up than they had expected.

The race got under way safely about 10 minutes later.

Catch the Olympics Games Tokyo 2020 LIVE with 14 dedicated channels on meWATCH. Sign in now at mewatch.sg/tokyo2020 and get into the action with Mediacorp, Singapore’s Olympics Network.

Source: Reuters/kg

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