London • There will be no individual gold, silver or bronze for Oscar Pistorius after the man known as "Blade Runner" failed to qualify for the finals of the men's 400 meters.
Instead, Pistorius will return to South Africa on the carbon legs that made him a sensation and carried him into history.
A long shot to reach the finals and, in a broader sense, to be here at all Pistorius finished last in his semifinal of the men's 400-meter race Sunday with a time of 46.54, nearly two seconds behind heat winner Kirani James, from Kenya.
Pistorius, who had both of his legs amputated below the knees, said he entered the Olympics with the goal of reaching the semifinals, which he did by placing second in his morning heat on Saturday.
"It's been one of the greatest experiences of my life," he said.
The Olympics are not over for Pistorius. He will be part of South Africa's 4x400-meter relay team, which competes Thursday.
Even on the day Usain Bolt broke the 100-meter Olympic record, and the crowd was clearly there for that sprint final, Pistorius did not go unappreciated.
"Oscar is someone special, especially in our event," James said. "It's a memorable moment for me to be out here performing with him."
After the race, Pistorius and James exchanged entry bibs, at James' request a ritual similar to soccer players exchanging jerseys after a match.
"As soon as we crossed the line, we're friends," Pistorius said. "It was very kind of him. We share a similar life. It's what the Olympics are all about."
That idea, the exploration of "what the Olympics are all about," is the reason Pistorius became a breakaway star in these Games, even if he didn't have the breakaway speed. The very idea: A man without legs competing in a footrace at the highest international level.
But he did it, and had the crowd behind him.
"They said it was 70,000 people," Pistorius said. "It felt like 170,000. It's been an unbelievable experience for me."
Taking it in stride
• South Africa's Oscar Pistorius, known as "Blade Runner" because he competes on carbon-fiber prosthetic legs, came up short in his bid to reach the 400-meter final.
• Pistorius completed the race in 46.54 seconds, two seconds behind the heat winner and 1.1 seconds slower than in his qualifying heat on Saturday.