The baton never even made it into Oscar Pistorius's handicapable hand. He was waiting to run the third leg for South Africa, and could only watch as the runner ahead of him collided with a rival, both going down injured. Everyone, most of all Pistorius, believed his Olympics were over without even getting to run a final time.
Coming around the final turn, Kenya's Vincent Kiilu moved to the outside to pass a runner in his path. That move put him in the way of South Africa's Ofentse Mogawane, who slammed into the Kenyan from behind. They went down in a heap, Mogawane with a dislocated shoulder. South Africa filed an appeal, but they didn't have much hope—appeals are rarely successful when a team fails to even complete the race. "Even a protest isn't any consolation," Pistorius said.
But the IAAF decided to uphold the appeal, announcing their decision less than an hour after the race:
"The Jury of Appeal met and agreed to advance the South African team to the final, even though they did not finish the race, considering that they had been severely damaged in the incident with Kenya," the IAAF said in a statement. "South Africa will run as an additional team in lane 9."
South Africa isn't expected to medal, and wasn't even favored to advance to the finals. But they at least deserve the chance to lose fairly, a chance denied by that strange collision today. And though the relay team is more than Oscar Pistorius, that's what Pistorius's 2012 Olympics have been about: the chance to run.