Jeneba Tarmoh will not participate in a 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 announced Monday.
The runoff -- a winner-take-all race -- was to be held Monday at 5 p.m. PT at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.
We are disappointed that Jeneba has changed her mind regarding her position on the Olympic team. 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.” -- Stephanie Hightower, USATF president and chairman
"We are disappointed that Jeneba has changed her mind regarding her position on the Olympic team," USATF president and chairman Stephanie Hightower said in a statement. "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 informed USATF of her decision via an email that was forwarded to U.S. track's governing body by her agent, Kimberly Holland.
"I Jeneba Tarmoh have decided to decline my 3rd place position in the 100m dash to Allyson Felix," Tarmoh wrote in the email. "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 said in a statement that she was disappointed by Tarmoh's decision.
"The situation has been difficult for everyone involved. I had accepted the USATF decision and was prepared to run at 5 p.m. 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."
Caple: Don't Blame Tarmoh
Some may blame Jeneba Tarmoh for backing out on a runoff that may have brought great attention to her sport, but the sprinter should never have had to choose. The blame here lies with USA Track and Field, writes Jim Caple. Story
Tarmoh only reluctantly agreed to a runoff in the first place. She felt that she won her spot fair and square on the track eight days ago.
"In my heart of hearts, I just feel like I earned the third spot," she said Sunday. "I almost feel like I was kind of robbed."
Tarmoh leaned across the finish line and looked up to see her name on the scoreboard in the third spot behind Jeter and runner-up Madison. The 22-year-old even took a celebratory lap around the track, waving an American flag. She received a medal and conducted a news conference.
Then she found out about the dead heat. From reporters, no less.
The situation has been a debacle since Felix and Tarmoh crossed the line in an identical time of 11.068 seconds. USATF had no protocol in place to resolve such a deadlock and quickly scrambled to adopt a tiebreaking procedure.
The options were a runoff, coin flip or one athlete conceding the spot to the other.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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