In case you missed it this weekend, sprinters Allyson Felix and Jeneba Tarmoh tied for third in the women’s 100-meter final Saturday at the U.S. track and field Olympic Team Trials in Eugene, Oregon.
It was a photo finish, but the photo was inconclusive.
Since the top three finishers in each event qualify to compete in London, a tiebreaker will be necessary to determine which runner will run the 100 in the Olympics and which will be an alternate.
Last night USA Track and Field announced the tie-breaking procedure:
- If either Felix or Tarmoch concedes her spot on the team to the other, the runner who concedes will be the first alternate.
- If no one concedes, the runners will have a choice between settling the race by a run-off or by a coin toss.
- If both runners agree on a tiebreaker, USA Track and Field will use that tiebreaker to determine third place.
- If the runners disagree on a tiebreaker, they will compete in a run-off.
- If the neither runner states a preference, there will be a coin toss.
- Felix, by virtue of her higher world ranking in the 100, will have the privilege of calling “heads” or “tails” in the event of a coin toss.
Regardless of the outcome USA Track and Field will break the tie before the end of the Olympic trials on July 1. There’s a good chance that a run-off would take place on Sunday July 1. Both Felix and Tarmoh will compete in the 200, and the 200 final is on Saturday.
Bob Kersee, who coaches both athletes, has instructed them to focus on the 200 and not worry about the tiebreaker.
Other Track and Field Notes
While much of the news surrounding the women’s 100 has focused on Felix and Tarmoh, 32-year-old Carmelita Jeter (one of our Olympians to watch) won the race and will make her Olympic debut in London.
Justin Gatlin, who served a four-year suspension for doping during the prime of his career, completed his comeback yesterday by winning the men’s 100 with a personal best time of 9.80. (He actually ran a 9.77 shortly before his doping ban, but, you know.)
Tyson Gay appears to have completely recovered from the hip surgery that sidelined him for a year. He finished second in the 100 with a time of 9.86.
Newcomer Ryan Bailey, of Illinois’ Rend Lake College, earned the third spot in the men’s 100.
Ashton Eaton broke the world record in the decathlon, thanks to a personal best time in the 1500. Eaton’s score of 9039 was thirteen points better than the previous record, 9026, held by Roman Šebrle of the Czech Republic. Eaton and Šebrle are the only two decathletes ever to score more than 9000 points.
LaShawn Merritt easily won the men’s 400. Bryshon Nellum, whose career was put on hold four years ago when he was the victim of a drive-by shooting near the USC campus, qualified for his first Olympics, finishing third.
Jenn Suhr, who won silver in the pole vault in Beijing, won the women’s pole vault, clearing 15 feet, 1 inch.