Jeneba Tarmoh Backs Out of 100-Meter Runoff, New York Times Says

Jeneba Tarmoh backed out of tonight’s 100-meter run-off against Allyson Felix for the final spot on the U.S. Olympic track and field team, the New York Times reported.

The newspaper said the sprinter’s agent, Kimberly Holland, confirmed the move.

The unprecedented head-to-head race in Eugene, Oregon, was scheduled to be held nine days after the training partners tied for third place in the women’s event at the U.S. Olympic trials.

Jill Geer, a spokeswoman for USA Track and Field, didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail or phone call seeking comment.

Felix and Tarmoh each finished the June 23 100-meter final with a time of 11.068 seconds, initially leaving USA Track and Field without a rule to determine the third Olympic qualifier. The race was won by Carmelita Jeter in 10.92 seconds, followed by Tianna Madison in 10.96.

Tarmoh, 22, at first was announced as the third-place finisher, giving her what she thought was berth in the Olympic sprint after beating Felix by 0.0001. After officials reviewed video, they announced the finish as a dead heat.

The following day, procedures were announced that provided for a run-off or a coin toss if one of the runners didn’t agree to resign her position.

The decision to conduct a run-off didn’t come until after both women competed two days ago in the 200 meters, a race won by Felix in 21.69 seconds to break the 24-year-old meet record of Florence Griffith-Joyner. Tarmoh was fifth.

Both runners will head to London as members of the 400- meter relay team. They said they never gave serious consideration to letting the final 100-meter spot be decided on a coin flip.

Felix, 26, is ranked ninth in the world in the 100, while Tarmoh is 66th, according to All-Athletics.com.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mike Buteau in Atlanta at mbuteau@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net

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