South Africa crashes out, denying Pistorius relay run at Olympics wire reports

LONDON -- Oscar Pistorius never even got the baton.

The double-amputee runner from South Africa was on the track but didn't get to run in the 4x400-meter relay at the London Olympics because a teammate tumbled out in the first heat Thursday morning before reaching Pistorius for the changeover.

Pistorius stood on the track waiting to run third in the relay but Ofentse Mogawane collided with Kenyan runner Vincent Kilu about 90 meters from the finish of the second section and fell.

Pistorius waited to see if his teammate would continue before walking off and watching the rest of the race from beside the finish line.

It was an anguished finish for the man known as the "Blade Runner," who became the first amputee runner to compete in Olympic track and field competition when he ran in the individual 400 earlier in the week. He reached the semifinals in that event but finished last in his heat.

South Africa won a silver medal in the relay last year at the world championships in South Korea, where Pistorius ran in the heats but not in the final. The South Africans were again considered medal contenders at the London Games.

After a long battle for inclusion in able-bodied competition in the individual events, Pistorius won another moral victory last week when the IAAF announced he could run any part of the 4x400 relay in London.

Pistorius was the leadoff runner in the semifinals of the relay last year at the world championships in South Korea after the IAAF had raised concerns that his carbon-fiber blades would endanger others in the race.

The federation said it never restricted Pistorius to the first segment but merely advised that his blades could imperil other runners if he were running in a pack.

Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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