The South African 4x400 metre relay team succeeded in their appeal to be awarded a place in the final after they failed to finish their Olympic heat on Thursday.

"The Kenyan athlete committed an obstruction which is in rule number 163.2 of the IAAF, so we appealed, based on that rule," the team's manager Hezekiel Sepeng said.

Shaun de Jager ran the first leg and was in fifth position when he exchanged the baton with Ofentse Mogawane for the second lap.

Mogawane tripped when Kenya’s Vincent Mumo Kilu cut in front of him. The South African stepped on his opponent’s heel and both athletes fell.

"We've got the result now and we won that appeal and we will be participating as team number nine in the final."

High expectations had been placed on the team after they won the silver medal at last year’s Daegu World Championships.

The quartet of De Jager, Mogawane, Oscar Pistorius and Willie de Beer felt crushed after Mogawane stumbled near the 300m mark.

"I just saw myself falling and tumbling and landed on my shoulder and dislocated my shoulder,” Mogawane said, his left arm in a sling.

"We were all bunched together and, in the last 100m, everybody wants to make a move and I was too close to the Kenyan guy.

Mogawane's initial reaction was that he thought it was just an accident.

"I wanted to make my move because he’s short and I am tall. I’m running with long strides, he’s running with short strides and I wanted to overtake him.

"Then I bumped into his leg and that is what caused the accident."

Mogawane's injury has opened the door for 400m hurdler LJ van Zyl to compete in the 4x400m relay final, after he crashed out of his specialist event last Friday.

Van Zyl said his bags were already packed for his trip back to South Africa after his failure in the hurdles. Then he saw the relay team's heat.

The team's passage into the final gives De Beer his first opportunity to participate at the Games, as he was the only member of the quartet yet to run.

Pistorius made history last Saturday as the first amputee to compete on the track at the able-bodied Olympics. He made it through to the 400m semi-finals, but failed to advance to the final. – Sapa