When double-amputee runner Oscar Pistorius finally had a shot at an Olympic medal, he didn’t get a chance to run.
South Africa’s relay team never made it to the third section of the 4x400 in the opening heat after Ofentse Mogawane crashed, leaving Pistorius waiting with his hand outstretched for a baton that never came.
When he realized his Olympics were over, Pistorius raised his hands to his head, and waved his arms down in frustration. Since the South Africans had already won silver at the world championships last year, the “Blade Runner” knew his team had a good chance of mounting the Olympic medal podium after Friday’s final.
Now he leaves London, with only the distinction of having marked the games by becoming the first amputee athlete to run in an Olympic track and field competition.
Mogawane and Kenya’s Vincent Kiilu tangled heading into the home straight of the second leg of the relay and the South African runner crashed, holding his shoulder with pain.
Pistorius still held his hand out for several seconds, seemingly unclear about what happened, until it slowly dawned on him he would no longer run.
Together with anchor runner Willem De Beer, he tried to walk over to his injured teammate but track officials held them back. Pistorius was left to applaud Trinidad and Tobago, which won the heat, ahead of Britain.