Men’s Olympic triathlon swimming leg is held up by a BOAT: False start declared after starter’s gun fires prematurely

The men’s Olympic triathlon began in shambolic circumstances as a boat jerked across the water just as some athletes had dived in to start the race.

Half the field dived in while the others were blocked off by a boat, leading to some frantic action from associated craft to get the message over to the initially unaware swimmers.

Fifty-six men lined up on a pontoon in Tokyo Bay for the 06.30 local start but as the starter sent them away for the opening 1,500 metre swim leg, around a third found their way blocked by a camera boat.

With those left on the pontoon stranded, 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.

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