James Carter won't be going to his third Olympic Games, but he won't be hanging up his spiked shoes, either.
The former Mervo and Hampton University star placed fourth in the 400-meter hurdles at the 2000 Sydney and 2004 Athens Games, but a major hamstring injury suffered at a small-scale meet in April cost him a month of critical training and put a costly crimp in his preparations for the U.S. Olympic trials.
A shadow of his 2007 self - when he led all Americans with a time of 47.72 seconds - Carter, 30, ran just 49.45 to place sixth in his semifinal yesterday and bow out of the running for a ticket to the Beijing Olympics.
Running out of the difficult first lane - with the tightest curves on the track - Carter was never really in contention for one of the top four spots that were required to make today's eight-man final.
The event's fastest qualifiers were 2007 world champion Kerron Clement (48.20), Bershawn Jackson (48.63) and Reuben McCoy (48.37).
"I'm going to go home, get healthy and be the world champion next year," Carter said. "This is me. What happened, happened. I did the best I could today.
"I wasn't 100 percent, but that's no excuse. Injuries are part of the game. I thought I might possibly get through [to the final] and then anything could have happened. Who knows? But I have no regrets about anything, either. I have been [to the Olympics] twice. Some people haven't been there yet.
"I'll consider this a learning experience. I will be back. You can count on that."
• Note // status of two-time Olympian Bernard Williams (Carver) remains unclear. He was entered in the 100-meter dash but wasn't listed on the first-round start sheet yesterday. He might still be a factor, though, in the 200, which begins Friday.
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