LONDON — LaShawn Merritt has failed to qualify for the semi-finals of the men’s 400 metros at the London 2012 Olympic Games after the American pulled up with an injury.

Merritt, the defending champion from the Beijing 2008 Games picked up a hamstring injury in his last race which saw him being forced to stop in Monaco, leading up to the Olympics.

He said he had been getting treatment frequently in an attempt to be ready for London, but after the first 50m of the race, you knew these Games clearly came too soon.

Merritt, after easing down in early stages on the backstretch, came to a complete halt afterwards, prior to walking off the track, while waving to the crowd.

The world leader and favourite for the gold medal, revealed how he went through long hours of treatment from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

“I had countless hours of treatment,” a disappointed Merritt said. “I got hurt in my last race.

“I was getting a lot of treatment and thought I could come out and get my way through, but I’m still young and have a long career.”

With Merritt out of the Olympics, Grenadian world champion Kirani James, who cruised through his heat this morning with now start as the man to beat for the gold medal.

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