A false start didn’t seem to deter Norwegian Kristian Blummenfelt, who took his country’s first Olympic medal in triathlon.
He pulled the groups back together on the bike, and then ran a hot, humid, and hard race-best 29:34 10K to pull away for an emotional win. Read about how it went down here.
Confusion reigned at the start—as a TV boat (seen in the background) blocked a portion of the field when the gun went off. Those who weren’t blocked, however, dived in and started swimming. The others had nowhere to go in the water.
After officials corralled the swimmers who had been able to start and brought them back to restart the race, those who had dived in had to climb back out, catch their breath, and do it again.
As athletes come through for their second lap of the swim, they have to dive back in.
Vincent Luis of France led out of the water.
Then it’s onto the bike for eight laps, totaling 40K, around Odaiba Park.
With spectators limited, triathlon was one of the few events in Tokyo that Tokyo residents could actually see.
A few groups tried to break away and chase, but ultimately nearly all the front contenders came together on the bike.
After the breakway was caught by the chase group, all the contenders in the large front pack wanted to enter T2 near the front, making for some aggressive riding.
The race slowly narrowed, as athletes fell off the pace in the heat and humidity, until it was primarily a front group on the run that included the three who would ultimately break away for the medals and surprise contender American Kevin McDowell in the mix.
Britain’s Alex Yee, Norway’s Kristian Blummenfelt, and New Zealand’s Hayden Wilde put in a surge to pull away from the rest of the group and then fight for the medals. With one kilometer to go, Blummenfelt turned up the heat and gutted it out all the way to the line.
An ecstatic and exhausted Blummenfelt crosses the line 11 seconds ahead of Yee, claiming Norway’s first Olympic medal in triathlon.
Yee and Wilde embrace after taking silver and bronze, while Blummenfelt lays on the ground exhausted from his effort.
Your 2020/2021 Tokyo Olympic men’s podium.