EUGENE, Ore. – Sprinter Jeneba Tarmoh withdrew from consideration for a 100-meter-dash berth on the U.S. Olympic team, canceling the runoff race she and Allyson Felix had been scheduled to contest Monday evening at Hayward Field.
USA Track and Field issued a statement Monday morning in which it said Tarmoh, who had been in a dead heat with Felix for third place in the 100 during the Olympic trials, told the organization she had declined the spot.
The statement said:
"In an email forwarded to USATF President and Chairman Stephanie Hightower at 9:37 a.m. Pacific Time by her agent, Kimberly Holland, Tarmoh said, "I Jeneba Tarmoh have decided to decline my 3rd place position in the 100m dash to Allyson Felix. 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."
Felix is now sure of running the 100 and the 200 after winning the 200 in 21.69 seconds, the fastest time in 14 years.
"The situation has been difficult for everyone involved. I had accepted the USATF decision and was prepared to run at 5pm." Felix said in a statement. "I wanted to earn my spot on this team and not have it conceded to me so I share in everyone's disappointment that this runoff will not happen. All I can do now is turn my focus to London."
The two women, who train in Los Angeles with coach Bobby Kersee, were timed in 11.068 seconds, behind winner Carmelita Jeter and runner-up Tianna Madison. Because USATF had no tiebreaking procedure in place, it decided to let Felix and Tarmoh decide whether to break the tie in a runoff or by a coin flip.
On Sunday they agreed to break the tie via a runoff. However, Tarmoh, a less experienced runner than two-time Olympic silver medalist Felix, reversed course and withdrew on Monday.
"We are disappointed that Jeneba has changed her mind regarding her position on the Olympic team," Hightower said. "We all worked hard to reach a consensus on the tiebreaker, but we know that Allyson, Carmelita and Tianna will represent Team USA well."