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U.S. 100-Meter Tiebreaker Runoff Set for Monday

Allyson Felix and Jeneba Tarmoh will race to determine the third member of the Olympic team for London

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Felix and Tarmoh finished in a dead heat for third in the 100 more than a week ago

    The tie for third place in the women's 100 meters at the U.S. track trials will be decided by a runoff Monday.

    Allyson Felix and Jeneba Tarmoh will race to determine the third member of the Olympic team for London, officials confirmed Sunday.

    Felix and Tarmoh finished in a dead heat for third in the 100 more than a week ago. Track officials had no policy in place to resolve it but devised a tiebreaker that included the options of a runoff or a coin flip.

    The resolution of the race was delayed because the coach for both athletes said they wanted to wait to make a decision until after Saturday night's 200 meters so they could focus on that race.

    The runoff will be held at 5 p.m. local time — 8 p.m. EDT — at Hayward Field. It's not something Tarmoh is looking forward to.

    "In my heart of hearts, I just feel like I earned the third spot. I almost feel like I was kind of robbed," Tarmoh said.

    Originally, Tarmoh was declared the third-place finisher behind winner Carmelita Jeter and runner-up Tianna Madison. The official scoring said she had edged training partner Felix by 0.0001 seconds. But the photo finish was reviewed and the dead heat was announced.

    In swimming, ties are settled with swim-offs between the two deadlocked opponents. Track has tiebreaking procedures for many of its events, as well, but this was a special case for which there is no written solution — a tie for the last spot on the Olympic team.

    A day after the disputed race, USATF announced the tiebreaking options. Scenarios included a runoff, a coin flip, or one athlete could concede the race to the other.

    Bobby Kersee, coach for both of the women, proclaimed soon thereafter that he did not want to distract his runners from the 200 on Saturday night, which Felix handily won. Tarmoh failed to qualify for London in the 200, finishing fifth. She could run in the 400 relay at the Olympics.

    A meeting among the athletes, their agents and USATF representatives was held at a hotel in Eugene on Sunday morning.

    "They both feel they deserve a spot on the team and they're willing to do it in a competitive manner and a competitive fashion," said Stephanie Hightower, president of USA Track and Field. "I think it's good for the sport and it's good for them to show their level of competitiveness and passion and drive for what they've been working so hard to accomplish.

    "The bottom line is that this is, in my opinion, the best way to be able to resolve this issue."