[REAL VERSION] London 2012

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Bryshon Nellum's Once Unlikely Olympic Journey Falls Short of 400m Final

The former USC sprinter was once unsure if he would be able to compete again after being shot in the legs.

By Steven Covelman
|  Sunday, Aug 5, 2012  |  Updated 6:57 PM CDT
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Former USC star Bryshon Nellum was not sure he would survive, let along run again, after he was shot as he walked home from a party. He talks with NBC4's Fred Roggin about his Olympic comeback.

Former USC star Bryshon Nellum was not sure he would survive, let along run again, after he was shot as he walked home from a party. He talks with NBC4's Fred Roggin about his Olympic comeback.

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Four years after he was shot in the legs three times, former USC sprinter Bryshon Nellum wasn't sure if he would run again, let alone compete at the world's highest level.

But Sunday Nellum found himself running in the 400m semifinals, just one race away from competing for an Olympic medal.

He was the fastest American in the race. But Nellum was a fraction of a second too slow to make the finals. His time fell just 0.03 seconds short.

"I want to take this time out to Thank every1who have showed me love & supported me thru out my journey 2 London," Nellum tweeted after the semifinal. "Still not done 4x4 up next!"

Finishing third in his heat, it looked as if Nellum might advance, but his hopes were quickly dashed when the final field was announced seconds after his race ended.

Still, just by making the Olympic team, Nellum accomplished a great deal and fulfilled one of his biggest goals.

Stray fragments from the shotgun blast that left his career in jeopardy stayed in his legs for three years, causing him excruciating pain.

The pain was so immense that training sometimes made Nellum collapse to the track, crying in agony.

But Nellum wasn’t willing to let that keep him from competing.

After three operations and years of rehab, Nellum started to look more like the man who was named the 2007 Gatorade National Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year.

At the 2012 Pac-12 Outdoor Championships, Nellum took home the 400m crown.

He followed that performance up with a 44.82 anchor leg in the 4x400 relay at the NCAA finals.

Then at the Olympic Trials Nellum’s recovery came full circle when he finished third in the 400m and posted a personal best of 44.80 seconds.

Nellum’s journey is not quite over just yet. He will compete in the 4x400 relay Thursday where he figures to have a good chance of taking home an Olympic medal.

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