Images courtesy of NBCOlympics.com on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro.

Jarrod Poort of Australia sprint out to the front in an incredibly risky strategy as the men’s Olympic 10K Marathon Swim has begun on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro.

But Oussama Mellouli, the defending Olympic champion, is also uncharacteristically taking off after Poort. Mellouli, who only swam a 15:07 in the 1500m a few days ago, is leading the trailing pack over the four-lap course with Erwin Maldonado of Venezuela and Evgeni Drattcev following in the chase group.

Poort’s blazing pace is influencing the rest of the 24 men who are swimming uncharacteristically fast in the first lap of the race.

Poort is totally committed to his strategy – who has a commanding 53-second lead.

For the final Olympic 10K Marathon Swim results and recounting of the dramatic finish, read here.

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