You spend four years working to earn a trip to the Olympic Games, and in an instant the dream of winning a medal dies because you had a false start during your preliminary heat. That’s a fear many athletes in sports such as swimming and track and field face, as you don’t get another chances to make amends for a false start. Saturday morning during his heat of the 400 meter freestyle competition, Spain’s Miguel Duran Navia left the pool in tears after believing that he’d been disqualified for a false start.
Just one problem with this assumption, but it was a good problem: Duran Navia had been mistaken in his assumption. Rules officials declared that the false start was not Duran Navia’s fault, with a sound from the crowd deemed to have triggered his premature dive into the pool. At that point the Spaniard was left to recollect himself and swim in the qualifying heat.
Duran Navia didn’t qualify for the finals of the 400 meter men’s freestyle, finishing eighth in the heat, but at least he was afforded the opportunity to complete the race.
Watch video of Duran Navia’s eventful day at the pool here.