Sprint showdown was a nonstarter

  • Article by: WASHINGTON POST
  • Updated: July 2, 2012 - 8:40 PM

In what was supposed to be a 100-meter race unlike any other, there was no winner crowned Monday in Eugene, Ore. In fact, there wasn't a race.

Jeneba Tarmoh pulled out of the run-off with Allyson Felix one day after agreeing to an unprecedented tie-breaker procedure. The two had crossed the finish line at the same time in the women's 100-meter final at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials and had been locked in a third-place tie for eight days.

Tarmoh called Felix on Sunday night to concede. On Monday morning, she e-mailed USA Track and Field to inform the sport's governing body of her decision.

"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," Tarmoh wrote.

In addition to being an alternate, Tarmoh is still in the relay pool and could be a part of the 4x100 team at the London Olympics.

Felix already had earned her way to the Summer Games, winning the women's 200 meters on Saturday, and will now represent the United States in both sprint races.

In the 100 final June 23, Tarmoh and Felix crossed the finish line shortly after first-place finisher Carmelita Jeter and runner-up Tianna Madison.

USA Track and Field was roundly criticized for not having protocols in place to break their tie. Officials took nearly 24 hours to write the new procedure -- essentially allowing the runners to choose between a run-off or a coin-flip -- but Felix and Tarmoh agreed to table a decision until the conclusion of the women's 200.

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