My bags were already packed – LJ van Zyl

2012-08-09 13:31

South African hurdler LJ van Zyl will join Shaun de Jager, Oscar Pistorius and Willie de Beer in the 4x400m relay final at the Olympic Games following Team SA’s successful International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) appeal.

Van Zyl, who bombed out in the first round of the 400m hurdles last Friday, tweeted that he had already packed his bags to return home when he heard that he would compete in the finals.

The bone of contention was the obstruction caused by Kenyan team member Vincent Mumo Kilu who had cut in front of Ofentse Mogawane during the second leg of this morning’s heat.

Said Team SA’s athletics manager at London 2012, Hezekiel Sepeng: “Our appeal was based on obstruction by the Kenyan guy. They were disqualified on IAAF rule 163.2 and we can participate as team number nine in the final (tomorrow from 10.20pm SA time).”

Mogawane is nursing a dislocated left shoulder.

Things went pear-shaped in the team’s heat this morning after De Jager – coming at fifth in the opening leg – had exchanged the baton with Mogawane.

Chasing from the back of the pack, Mogawane’s run came to a painful halt when Kilu cut across him, and the subsequent move bumped the South African off the track.

Mogawane fell awkwardly on his shoulder.

Kilu had accused Mogawane of spiking him.

That marked the end of the race for the side that set a national record just 12 months ago at the world championships in South Korea.

The incident meant Pistorius and De Beer left the packed Olympic Stadium without breaking a sweat.

Mogawane emerged a few minutes later with his left arm in a sling.

“I can’t remember what happened … we had (bumped) each other. I think it was just an accident ... I have long strides; his are shorter – I tried to overtake him but we were all bunched. I dislocated my shoulder and I am going for scan,” said Mogawane.

He added: “My heart is broken but this is sport and these things happen. I’m disappointed my guys (Pistorius and De Beer) did not get to run.”

Trinidad and Tobago won the heat in 3:00.38 while Kenya came last in 3:21.01.

Jamaica also failed to finish their heat.

The Caribbean nation (3th) and South Africa (2nd) were ranked in the top three in the world coming to the London Games.

» Follow us on Twitter: @DanieMothowagae and @City_Press

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