Ready. Set. Go.
Now, imagine training four years (five in this case) for your moment in the spotlight, only to false start before the gun fires and be disqualified.
That's the very real prospect facing the world's best athletes in Tokyo this summer.
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The athletics part of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic schedule is now well underway with a host of exciting track and field events set to deliver thrills and drama over the coming days.
Whether it's seeing if Dina Asher-Smith can win a medal for Team GB or watching a tactical battle unfold in a new Olympic event, the 4x400m mixed relay, there is something for everyone.
There's also the small matter of seeing who will be crowned the fastest man on the planet with Usain Bolt officially retired.
Having a quick start is required to finish on the podium but sprinters will be well aware of the danger in jumping the gun.

How many false starts are athletes allowed at Tokyo 2020?

There are no second chances at Tokyo 2020. If an athlete is deemed to have false started they will be instantly disqualified.
On the 'Track & Field 101: Rules' on the Olympics website, it states: "If a sprinter commences his or her starting motion from the set position before the Starter's gun is fired, it is deemed a false start.
"The first false start of a race results in an automatic disqualification to the offending runner."

Have the false start disqualification rules changed?

Before 2010, if an athlete false started, the entire field was given a warning and anyone in the same race who jumped the gun a second time would be disqualified, even if it wasn’t the first offender.
But in 2010, the International Association of Athletics Federations changed the rule to make it an instant disqualification for any offender.

Jumping the gun will result in disqualification at Tokyo 2020

Image credit: Getty Images

Under the old rule, slower runners could gain an advantage by purposely jumping the gun to distract the faster starters.
The number of false starts would also slow down meets and impact schedules causing television broadcasts to run over their time slots.
One of the most famous false starts under the new rule came in 2011 at the World Championships when Bolt false started in the 100m final, resulting in an instant disqualification.
Watch every unmissable moment live from Tokyo 2020 across Eurosport, Eurosport app and discovery+. Download the Eurosport app for iOS and Android now.
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