LaShawn Merritt might have won the race but the real victory Sunday in the men's 400 meters at the U.S. Olympic trials belonged to Bryshon Nellum.
Nellum, a senior at Southern California, 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.
Merritt, the reigning Olympic gold medalist won 400 in 44.12 seconds, the best time in the world this season, for a chance to defend his title in London. McQuay was second in 44.49 at Hayward Field, and Nellum followed in 44.80.