Jeneba Tarmoh Drops Out Of Runoff Against Allyson Felix
Jeneba Tarmoh has decided not to compete in a previously scheduled runoff against Allyson Felix for the third and final spot on the U.S. team for the 100-meter women's race at the 2012 London Games, USA Track and Field (USATF) announced Monday. Tarmoh's decision to forfeit her chances is the latest twist in an unusual story that has embarrassed USATF's lack of preparedness for tie-breaking procedures.
The runoff, to which Tarmoh and Felix had both previously agreed, was scheduled for Monday at 5 p.m. at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., but Tarmoh sent her official decision not to run via an email. "I Jeneba Tarmoh have decided to decline my 3rd place position in the 100m dash to Allyson Felix," Tarmoh wrote in the message to USATF. "I understand that with this decision I am no longer running the 100m dash in the Olympic Games and will be an alternate for the event. As an alternate I understand that I will be asked to run if another 100m runner decides not to for personal reasons, and/or on the 4x100m relay."
USATF president and chairman Stephanie Hightower said in a statement the news of Tarmoh's withdrawal was disappointing. "We are disappointed that Jeneba has changed her mind regarding her position on the Olympic team," Hightower said, according to ESPN. "We all worked hard to reach a consensus on the tiebreaker, but we know that Allyson, Carmelita [Jeter] and Tianna [Madison] will represent Team USA well."
Tarmoh was reluctant at first to agree to the runoff because she felt that she had fairly won her spot in the race. Both Felix and Tarmoh crossed the line in an identical time of 11.068 seconds, but USATF had no protocol in place to resolve the deadlock. "In my heart of hearts, I just feel like I earned the third spot," Tarmoh said Sunday. "I almost feel like I was kind of robbed."
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