The start of the triathlon was delayed after a boat dangerously steered into the path of athletes about to jump into the water.
Day three of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics commenced in farcical fashion with a false start in the endurance event.
It was eventually won by Norwegian Kristian Blummenfelt and saw a brilliant silver from Team GB’s Alex Yee – but got off to a shocking start at the Odaiba Marine Park.
Team GB veteran Jonny Brownlee eventually came fifth after winning a bronze and silver in the last two Olympics.
This time, though, only half of the athletes could jump into the water for the 1.5km swim, with a RIB boat block the other half’s entry.
BBC commentator Matt Chilton was raging at what he had seen.
He said: “I have never seen anything like that before at the start of a triathlon – let alone one at the Olympics. What a shamble.”
In the studio was GB triathlete Non Stanford.
She added: “I’ve never seen that – definitely not in the Olympics.
“Hopefully the guys who did jump in, it didn’t affect their race too much.”
And that was the reaction of stunned viewers on social media.
Laura Barr tweeted that it was ‘absolutely chaos’ and ‘bloody ridiculous’ what happened.
Charlie Pittock echoed Chilton’s comments, posting that it was a ‘shambles of a start to the triathlon’.
Jane Bourne commented that ‘heads should roll’ for the ‘terrifying’ incident.
She added that ‘it’s a minor miracle that everyone’s actually alive and well’.