Originally written on Fox Olympics  |  Last updated 9/8/14

BERLIN - AUGUST 21: Lashawn Merritt of United States celebrates winning the gold medal and Jeremy Wariner of United States celebrates winning the silver medal in the men's 400 Metres Final during day seven of the 12th IAAF World Athletics Championships at the Olympic Stadium on August 21, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images)
LaShawn Merritt might have won the race but the real victory Sunday in the men's 400 meters at the US Olympic trials belonged to Bryshon Nellum. Nellum, a senior at USC, finished third in the event, behind Merritt and Tony McQuay, for a trip to the London Games -- something that was unthinkable in 2008 when Nellum was shot in the legs while leaving a Halloween party. A high-school track phenom, Nellum was told he might never run competitively again after the shooting. Now, three surgeries and nearly four years later, he's an Olympian. ''I just put it all in God's hands. It's not my plan, it's his plan,'' Nellum said. Nellum took a bullet to each thigh and another in the left hamstring during the shooting when he was just 19. Two gang members were sentenced last August to 15 years each in prison for the crime. Prosecutors said the men mistook the athlete for a rival gang member. Just last year, Nellum underwent a third and surgery to remove the remaining bullet fragments in his left hamstring. ''It's been a long journey for me,'' he said. ''I finally had a healthy season. It's a blessing to be able to compete out here.'' \ Merritt, the reigning Olympic gold medalist, won the 400 in 44.12 seconds, the best in the world this season, for a chance to defend his title in London. McQuay, a junior at Florida who won the NCAA championship in the 400 this month, was second in 44.49 at Hayward Field. Nellum surged down the stretch for third in 44.80. ''This won't be my first rodeo. I will go in confidently, and I am definitely confident in Tony and Nellum that they can handle this,'' Merritt said. ''They came out of college and now they're with the big dogs.'' Jeremy Wariner, the 2004 Olympic gold medalist before winning the silver in Beijing, finished sixth in 45.24, missing out on his chance to make a third Olympic team. In the women's 400, Sanya Richards-Ross ran the best time in the world this season, finishing in 49.28 seconds for her spot on the Olympic team. Her mark in the final tied Chandra Cheeseborough's meet record set in 1984. Richards-Ross also plans to run in the 200 in the trials at Hayward for a shot at a double in the London Games. Dee Dee Trotter finished in 50.02 and Francena McCorory was third in 50.43 for the other two spots on the team. Natasha Hastings, who was on the 1,600 relay team that won gold in Beijing, finished seventh in 51.28. Richards-Ross was the favorite going into the Beijing Olympics, but faded on the stretch and settled for the bronze. After the race she crumbled in tears. Now, she's got a chance to re-write her legacy. ''I would say I'm in the best shape of my life. I'm definitely better than I was in 2008,'' she said. ''I've grown up and I've learned so much in this sport over the last four years. I'm a different competitor now, not just because I'm Richards-Ross, but because I've had different experiences.''
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Marlins players skipped out on their own charity event

Mark Wahlberg: Tom Brady is 'an American hero'

Cavs beat Hawks without Kyrie Irving, take 2-0 lead

John Wall tells All-NBA Team voters to ‘keep sleeping’

Minor League team cancels 'A-Rod Juice Box Night'

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Dolphins teammate on Dion Jordan: It’s a bad situation

Texans reportedly the favorite to be featured on ‘Hard Knocks’

Will Smith suspended eight games for 'foreign substance'

Report: Kobe Bryant likely to retire following next season

Don Shula named in painkiller lawsuit from former NFL players

Kyrie Irving questionable for Game 2 versus Atlanta

Rick Fox and Khloe Kardashian spotted on date together?

LeBron James' leadership has Cavs on top of the East

Patriots fan's obituary labels Tom Brady innocent

Frank Kaminsky pens heartfelt piece about time at Wisconsin

WATCH: Mike Trout steals third base with amazing slide

Re-evaluating all 30 MLB teams at the quarter mark

Is virtual reality training the next leap forward for football?

Warriors a very shaky 2-0 against the Rockets

NFL icon Bud Grant zings Pats with Deflategate joke on Twitter

RG3 announces daughter's birth on social media

Don't listen to Nick Saban, the bowl system is just fine

MLB scores partial victory in minor league wage lawsuits

Track and Field News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Pats fan's obituary defends Brady

Marlins players skip own charity event

John Wall tells All-NBA Team voters to ‘keep sleeping’

Jim Kelly: No doubt Tom Brady cheated

Post-combine NBA Draft big board: Top 30

Ex-players sue NFL for conspiring to push painkillers

Astros surprising, but can get better with Correa

Here come the Giants

Aaron Hernandez got new tattoo in prison

TUF weekly recap by NOS® Energy Drink

Ten players who could benefit due to PAT rule change

Five QBs set for breakout campaigns

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.