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Scunthorpe's Jack Burnell disqualified from open water swimming

Jack Burnell looked to have finished fifth Credit: PA

Scunthorpe's Jack Burnell was left fuming and perplexed after being disqualified from the men's open water swimming when in medal contention.

The Briton was in the Olympic medal mix at the end of the 10-kilometres race, but was denied in the frantic finale.

Initially he was in a photo finish for third, behind winner Ferry Weertman of Holland, before being demoted to fifth and then disqualified altogether for a second caution from race officials.

The 23-year-old, who was fifth in last year's World Championships, said: "It was an absolute joke, the whole thing from start to finish.

"You've got the best guys in the world out here, who have trained for four years, put a lot of hard work into this.

"This is the pinnacle of our sport and it's ruined by a couple of judges, who want to stick their nose in, just because they want something to do."

They want to be seen to be like they're doing something. Just let the guys race. It's an absolute outrage.

There were yellow cards left, right and centre. The first yellow card that I got there was nobody either side of me.

I couldn't physically have touched anybody, even if I had had six-foot long arms. And he gives me a yellow card.

I just laughed at the guy as I was swimming. I looked at him and shook my head. He just nodded his head and showed me the yellow card.

They just want to be seen to be doing something. This is unbelievable, considering how much work these guys put in, for four years, including myself. "And it all gets thrown away just by some judge who wants to stick his oar in.

– Jack Burnell