DAEGU, South Korea -- Double-amputee runner Oscar Pistorius was left off South Africa's team for the 1,600-meter relay final Friday, a day after helping the squad qualify at the world championships.
"Haven't Been included in the Final for the SA Mens 4x400m. Pretty Guttered," Pistorius wrote in a Twitter message.
Instead of Pistorius, the South African team decided to go with L.J. van Zyl, who won the bronze medal in the 400 hurdles.
After making a historic breakthrough for Paralympic athletes by reaching the semifinals of the 400 early this week, the "Blade Runner" ran a strong opening leg on the tough inside lane Thursday to help South Africa to a third-place finish in its heat and a South African record.
Team manager Magda Botha said in a statement the decision was based on "factual information and knowledge" after a meeting with the athletes early Friday.
The 24-year-old Pistorius, who had his legs amputated when he was a baby, can still get a medal if South Africa finishes in the top three because he ran in the heats.
It was already considered an amazing performance for Pistorius to get into the 400 semifinals on his carbon-fiber blades, but Thursday, the relay performance did one better.
The IAAF had said that Pistorius could only run the leadoff leg of the relay because it is completed with teams still running in lanes. There were fears that the his blades could be a danger if he had to run in a bunch.
Pistorius traditionally has a slow start over the first 100 meters before picking up more speed and it might have been a reason to leave him off the team. It still was an unexpected decision since he trails only van Zyl in the South African season's standings.
The United States and Jamaica led qualifying, just ahead of South Africa, highlighting that Pistorius still had a chance to collect a medal.
It would be an achievement in itself. All through his youth, Pistorius played games and sports with able-bodied kids, refusing to accept the difference shins, ankles, feet and toes made.
He was good at whatever he did, became a Paralympic star and won three gold medals at the Beijing Paralympics to prove it.
Yet he always wanted to compete against the best.
When the IAAF refused to let him, he took his case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and won the right in 2008 to be allowed to run in able-bodied events on his blades.
At first he didn't qualify for major championships, but Pistorius finally achieved the qualifying mark for Daegu with a personal best of 45.07 seconds at a small meet in northern Italy in July on his last attempt.
After failing to reach the final in the individual 400, he had good hopes to run the relay final Friday.