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The men's triathlon event at the Tokyo Olympics got off to one of the most bizarre starts ever witnessed on the world stage.
As the athletes were preparing to dive into the water to begin the race, a boat steered dangerously close to the start line.
The claxon sounded to begin the event, but while some swimmers got off to a perfect start, others' entrance into the water was blocked by the boat which desperately reversed at an agonisingly-slow pace.
It meant only half of the competitors in 56-strong field could actually enter the water for the 1.5km swim while the others just stood there on the platform and waited for the boat to move.
And even as the boat reversed, it's a miracle that it didn't hit any of the swimmers already in the water.
Complete and utter chaos.
An absolutely WILD start to the men's triathlon.- Joe Pompliano (@JoePompliano) July 25, 2021
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
Thankfully no one was injured during the bizarre sequence of events, although Tokyo officials were forced to restart the entire race after the dramatic ordeal.
"The boat's in the way! Get out of the way! What is going on?" Seven commentator Dave Culbert screamed.
"Complete chaos. They're going to have to call them back."
Former ironwoman and commentator Candice Warner echoed her colleague's remarks.
"This is an absolute disaster. This is not what you want to happen, to waste alot of your energy off that start and then to have to go back and do it all over again," she added.
"I just can't believe something like that could happen at an Olympic Games."
Viewers watching the Games from home couldn't quite believe their eyes as they flocked to social media to share their thoughts.
Norway's Kristian Blummenfelt went on to win gold, although it's understood he wasn't part of the initial pack that was stopped from entering the water during the entire boat shambles.
Chaos at the triathlon as half the field dive in on 'on your marks' and have to be intercepted by the marshall boats. Brits still on dry land. To be fair there was a boat in the way. pic.twitter.com/g1VrRSom8H- Matt Lawton (@Lawton_Times) July 25, 2021
Utter shambles at the start of the #OlympicGames men's Triathlon. Athletes diving into the water as a boat with twin outboard motors reverses where the swimming was about to take place. Very lucky no-one was hurt.- James Dickens :blue_heart: (@JamesWDickens) July 25, 2021
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