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Oscar Pistorius, South African 4x400M Relay Team Finish 8th As Bahamas Wins Gold

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South Africa's Oscar Pistorius crosses the finish line in a men's 400-meter semifinal during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev)
South Africa's Oscar Pistorius crosses the finish line in a men's 400-meter semifinal during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev)

By the time that Oscar Pistorius got the baton for the anchor leg of the men's 4x400 meter relay final, South Africa was well out of medal contention.

But that didn't mean Pistorius' loop around the oval at Olympic Stadium was of no consequence. Leaning forward as he reached the finish line, the double-amputee runner dubbed the "Blade Runner" for his prostheses helped South Africa to a team season's best time of 3:03.46 despite its eighth-place finish.

The team from the Bahamas edged the quartet from the United States on the final straightaway of the anchor leg for gold while Trinidad & Tobago won the bronze.

As Pistorius picked up speed after receiving the baton, the head-to-head battle between Ramon Miller of the Bahamas and Angelo Taylor of the United States was heating up. Taylor held a lead through the final turn but was overtaken by Miller. Finishing in 2:56.72, the Bahamas won gold and established a new national record. The United States won silver in 2:57.05, a season's best for the team.

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With Cuba registering a DNF, Pistorius was the final competitor across the finish line. Of course, that he even had the chance to run was an improvement on the team's showing in the preliminary round. With Pistorius scheduled to run third in Round 1 on Thursday, Ofentse Mogawane went down after a collision during the second leg and South Africa seemed to be eliminated from contention. It took a successful protest by South Africa to even clinch a lane in the final.

Although he will leave London without a medal, Pistorius has been one of the biggest stars of the 2012 Olympics. The first double-amputee to compete in the Olympics, Pistorius also competed in the 400 meters.

"To step out in front of a crowd this massive, it's a mind-blowing experience," he told reporters after failing to reach the final of the 400 meters. "I've had support in the last couple of days like I have never felt before."

Buoyed by such support and the belief that he can continue to improve his times, Pistorius has already announced his intentions to compete in Rio at the 2016 Games.

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