4x400m Relay: South Africa Qualifies Despite Obstruction, Team USA Second In Heats

It seemed as if Oscar Pistorius would miss out on the finals in the 4x400m relay without getting to touch the baton after a collision caused one of his South Africa teammates, Ofense Mogatwane, to fall. But a ruling by the IAAF said that Mogatwane was obstructed, meaning the South Africans will race in Friday's final.

South Africa had hopes of reaching the podium again after silver a year ago in South Korea. But on the second leg of the relay, Mogatwane had a collision with Kenya's Vincent Kilu and fell. And so, South Africa's hopes of medaling appeared to be over before the team got to Pistorius, who was set to run the third leg. Kenya's team finished, but was disqualified.

However, the IAAF -- who had previously ruled that the double-amputee Pistorius could compete in the Olympics despite his prosthetic legs -- said that due to the obstruction, the team would compete in the finals tomorrow as an additional team despite the DNF, and will race in lane 9. It is unclear whether Mogatwane, who Pistorius tweeted dislocated his shoulder in the fall, will be able to run in the finals.

The United States ran into no such troubles as it tries to win gold for the eighth straight -- yes, eighth straight -- Olympics. It finished second by less than a hundredth of a second, as its time of 2:58.87 was identical to the 2:58.87 that earned the Bahamas first place in their heat. The finals in the event will be tomorrow at 4:20 p.m.

Jamaica also failed to finish, but unlike South Africa, will not be competiting in the finals. Usain Bolt had entertained thoughts of competing in the relay finals should his team make the finals, but those thoughts were squashed when Jermaine Gonzales came up lame with a leg injury on the third leg of the heat. The Jamaicans had earned bronze in last year's world championships.

For more on the Olympics, check out SB Nation's London 2012 Olympics hub.

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