Miguel Duran Navia’s Olympic dream appeared to end before it started when he was seemingly disqualified from the men’s 400-meter freestyle. But some Olympic judges with kind hearts gave him a second chance.
The incident came during one of the heats to determine who will swim in the final of the 400m. While waiting for the gun to start the race, Navia started to rock forward and fell into the pool.
Swimming has a no-false-start rule, meaning anybody who false starts is disqualified and out of the race.
Navia knew immediately what he had done, smacking the water with his hand, and burying his head in his hands while hanging onto the lane rope.
When he got out of the water, he appeared to be in tears as he was gathering his belongings.
Meanwhile, the judges met and decided to allow Navia to remain in the race.
The announcers speculated that they ruled noise in the arena had led to the false start.
Navia went on to finish seventh in his heat and did not advance to the final. But at least the 20-year-old got to compete and fulfil a dream of swimming in the Olympics.
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