Tarmoh may back out of 100-meter runoff with Felix
USA Track and Field is trying to convince Jeneba Tarmoh to run the 100 tiebreaker
Tarmoh decided to pull out of the runoff with Felix, but has not officially withdrawn
EUGENE, Oregon -- According to a source, late Sunday night officials from USA Track and Field were working to convince sprinter Jeneba Tarmoh to participate in Monday evening's unprecedented tie-breaking 100-meter runoff at Hayward Field to decide the final individual spot on the U.S. women's 100-meter team in London. Tarmoh, 22, and training partner Allyson Felix, 26, a two-time Olympic silver medalist in the 200 meters are scheduled to race at shortly after 5 p.m., Pacific Time. NBC has committed to televising the runoff live to the Eastern and Central time zones, cutting into coverage of the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials.
However, Sunday evening Tarmoh had decided to pull out of the race, although she had not officially withdrawn. Tarmoh had agreed to the runoff in an emotional meeting early Sunday afternoon. At the meeting, an SI.com story from June 26 in which chief photo finish judge Roger Jennings detailed the process by which last Saturday's dead heat was called, was discussed by representatives of all parties. In that story and accompanying video Jennings explains how he called Tarmoh the winner and then after asking for USATF officials to review his call because of the importance of third place in the Olympic Trials, was overruled.
Later Sunday, in an afternoon interview with The Associated Press, Tarmoh said, "In my heart of hearts, I just feel like I earned the third spot. I almost feel like I was kind of robbed.'' According to the source, any confusion about the photo finish is only part of Tarmoh's reticence to participate in the runoff. A first-year professional, Tarmoh is also exahusted from the weeklong controversy and was disinclined to participate from the beginning.
Late Sunday night a USATF official asked SI.com for a copy of the Jennings story and said the organization was on a "fact-finding mission.'' According to sources, USATF officials were meeting with timing officials Sunday night, seeking clarification.