Pistorious given Olympic relay chance

Double amputee Oscar Pistorius has been handed a chance for an historic Olympic medal after South Africa was given the spare ninth lane in the 4x400m relay final despite failing to finish the heat.

Pistorius had been left stranded at the start of the third leg on Thursday when second runner Ofentse Mogawane fell to the ground on the bend into the final stretch after colliding with Kenya's Vincent Kiilu and was unable to complete the leg.

Even though there was more than half the race to go and South Africa was battling for sixth and seventh with Kenya when the incident occurred, they successfully appealed and were given a place in the final.

The first three in each of the two heats and two fastest losers qualified for the final.

While Kiilu said he had been spiked, his team agreed he was at fault.

Kenya were subsequently disqualified, prompting an appeal by South Africa, which won the silver medal at last year's world championships.

Pistorius, who made history when he became the first double amputee to compete in the athletics at an Olympics in the 400m individual heats last Saturday, was left disconsolate as Mogawane lay on the track at the top of the straight.

But the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) gave him and his teammates a second chance to claim a medal.

"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."

Jamaican great Usain Bolt will not have to make up his mind as to whether he will run the 4x400m relay after his team-mates failed to finish their heat on Thursday.

Bolt had indicated he would run in the relay final if he was asked to, but the question won't be asked after Jermaine Gonzalez pulled up halfway round the third leg.

Hungary's dominance of kayaking was brought to a halt by wins to Germany and Australia at Eton Dorney on Thursday.

While Danuta Kozak won the women's K1 500m to capture Hungary's third gold of the canoe sprint regatta, her teammates were beaten into silver in the women's K2 500m and men's K4 1000m.

Franziska Weber and Tina Dietze of Germany denied Katalin Kovacs and Natasa Douchev-Janics a third straight Olympic title in the K2 500m.

Australia's quartet of Tate Smith, David Smith, Murray Stewart and Jake Clear denied Hungarian great Zoltan Kammerer a fourth Olympic gold medal in the men's K4 1000m.

Hungary won its second gold for the day when Eva Risztov won the women's 10km marathon swim in the Serpentine.

Early on day 13 of competition on Thursday, China was still on top of the medals table with 36 gold, with the US second on 34 and Great Britain third on 22.

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