LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 8, Jason Richardson (USA), Lehann Fourie (South Africa) and Lawrence Clarke (Great Britain) in the mens 110m hurdles final during the evening session of athletics at the Olympic Stadium on August 8, 2012 in London, England Photo by Roger Sedres / Gallo Images

London – The Olympic Games reignited Lehann Fourie's self-belief, after he had contemplated hanging up his spikes for good.

It was as if the Olympic gods intervened when a downtrodden Fourie made the final of the 110 metres hurdles on Wednesday, in emphatic style.

Fourie missed the SA record by 0.02 seconds in the semi-finals, with a personal best time of 13.28 seconds, to book his place in the final two hours later.

“I thought this was going to be my last meet – not just this year as I was going to re-evaluate about next year and everything,” Fourie said.

“I got tired of injuries and the way I was going on.

“But I think making the Olympic final definitely gave me a little bit more motivation to try harder.

“I know I can go faster and work towards Rio in 2016.”

He was unable to repeat his performance in the final, however, finishing seventh in 13.53.

Fourie, who was somewhat of a surprise inclusion in the SA team, had struggled with niggling injuries in the lead-up to the Games.

With his confidence at a low, and Fourie ready to throw in the towel, his run in the semi-final resuscitated his career.

“After the semi-final, I was shocked and I felt maybe I can be one of the best in the world,” he said.

“It was a good experience, especially just making the team.

“I'd been sick, and am still on antibiotics, and I’ve had a few injuries over the last couple of weeks.”

His low esteem meant that he did not think that he would go past the semi-final and, subsequently, did not prepare himself for a final.

“I didn’t expect to make the final,” Fourie said.

“I always hoped, I always prayed, but I didn’t even know what time the final was,” Fourie said.

“I didn’t even bring a sandwich or anything for afterwards.”

He said while many believed in his potential, he did not share their sentiments, but after SA's Olympic body, Sascoc, gave him a lifeline by including him in the team, he did not want to be perceived as a mere passenger at the Games.

“It’s been a great experience where I surprised myself,” he said.

“A lot of other people believed in me but it was really hard for me to believe in myself.

“I told myself before the semi-final that I had 13 seconds to change my life.

“In 13 seconds, you can really write your destiny and I was literally running as if it was my last race.” – Sapa