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Chaos at the starting blocks as triathlon forced to restart

Olympics

The men’s Olympic triathlon had to be restarted after a boat blocked the entry of almost half the competitors into the water in chaotic scenes at Tokyo’s Odaiba Marine Park.

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Norway’s Kristian Blummenfelt overcame the chaotic start to claim the Olympic men’s triathlon gold while Australia finished well out of the medals.

Blummenfelt led home Briton Alex Yee with Kiwi Hayden Wilde taking the bronze medal. Ranked world No.2, the Norwegian  broke away from Yee and Wilde late in the 10km run leg and charged to the line, winning by 11 seconds.

The race started in chaos after a boat blocked the entry of almost half the competitors into the water at Tokyo’s Odaiba Marine Park.

The 56-strong field lined up on the pontoon but as the starter sent them away for the opening 1500m swim leg many were left stranded when they were blocked off by a camera boat, which then nearly reversed over some swimmers.

Support craft frantically tried to get the message of a false start to those in the water to steer them back to the pontoon.

The race got under way safely about 10 minutes later.

The best-finishing Australian was Tasmania’s Jake Birtwhistle, who was 16th in his first Olympics.

Queensland’s Matt Hauser, also making his Olympic debut, was 24th while Aaron Royle, from NSW was two places back in 26th.

French world champion Vincent Luis finished 13th.

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