So about that women's 100-meter runoff that's supposed to take place on Monday in primetime. According to SI.com's Tim Layden, Jeneba Tarmoh, part of the tie for the third and final spot on the U.S. Olympic team in the 100, may be having second thoughts. The race was declared a dead-heat one week ago, and a runoff was the agreed upon resolution.
But now there's this:
Jenebah Tarmoh telling USATFthat as of now she won't do 100m runoff. SI.com photo finish story part of debate. Developing...— Tim Layden (@SITimLayden) July 2, 2012
It's a stunning reversal from Sunday night. During the U.S. Track and Field Team Trials, NBC interviewed Allyson Felix and Tarmoh, the two competitors in the scheduled runoff. Tarmoh fought back tears and said it's been an emotional ride as both tried to figure out what to do next throughout the week. Both added they never considered a coin-flip and wanted to race for the final spot.
The story Layden references in the above tweet is here. It's an excellent look at how the dead heat was declared -- a behind-the-scenes story of a photo finish judge who protested himself, eventually leading to the runoff. Layden went into incredible detail when describing what happened, how the judge finds the runners' torso in a photo finish and why there was such controversy following the race.
Tarmoh's torso, which appeared to be twisted in the photo, is an important detail, and could be a reason she's upset. An initial interpolation led to an electronic time for Tarmoh that was .001 seconds faster than Felix. Immediately after the times flashed, a second review was done and the race was declared a dead heat after much debate -- the replay official said his read was subjective, but he'd call Tarmoh the winner every time.
So you can see why Tarmoh might be upset. And now, it appears this story will continue to twist and turn, becoming one of the more messy and confusing track and field subplots we've seen in quite some time.