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, USA Track & Field said.
The unprecedented head-to-head race in Eugene, Oregon, was scheduled to be held nine days after the two training partners tied for third place in the women’s event at the U.S. Olympic trials.
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. Felix will now be the third member of the 100-meter squad, with Tarmoh an alternate, and both already had qualified for the 400-meter relay.
“We are disappointed that Jeneba has changed her mind regarding her position on the Olympic Team,” USA Track & Field President Stephanie Hightower said in a statement. “We all worked hard to reach a consensus on the tiebreaker, but we know that Allyson, Carmelita and Tianna will represent Team USA well.”
Tarmoh, 22, at first was announced as the third-place finisher, giving her what she thought was an Olympic berth 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.
Felix and Tarmoh 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.