SPORTS

Swimming Officials Show What The Olympics Should Be All About

Judges embraced the spirit of the games when a swimmer jumped the gun.

Judges at Rio 2016 gave a Spanish swimmer a rare second chance to race after his false start.

Officials fully embraced the Olympic spirit by allowing Miguel Duran Navia to return to the blocks and take part in the 400-meter freestyle heat on Saturday.

The 20-year-old should have technically been disqualified after he jumped the gun and toppled into the water. Swimming at the Olympics has a no false start rule. 

But judges took pity on him after deciding that he’d reacted to a noise in the crowd. 

Footage from NBC shows him being brought back out to the poolside to the roar of the approving crowd, having previously left in tears, clutching his things.

"I heard something from the stand and so I did what I did,” Duran Navia said later in a press conference. “It was a false start. I thought I was disqualified but I was told that everything was fine to swim.”

The Spaniard didn’t get the fairytale ending he may have hoped for, however, as he finished eighth out of eight in the heat.

But, at least, after four years of intense training, he got to compete in the event at all. And he returns to the pool as part of Spain’s 4x200-meter freestyle relay team on Tuesday.

Check it out in the clip above.

Miguel Duran Navia was in tears after he toppled into the water, but was later allowed to return to compete.
Miguel Duran Navia was in tears after he toppled into the water, but was later allowed to return to compete.

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