Sprinter Jeneba Tarmoh Backs Out
Jeneba Tarmoh, the 22-year-old sprinter who tied with training partner Allyson Felix for the third and final spot to compete in the 100-meter race on the U.S. Olympic team, has backed out of the tie-breaking run-off that is scheduled to take place tonight, according to her agent.
Tarmoh, who was initially declared the winner during the June 23 race, has felt uncomfortable with the idea of a run-off since the beginning, say reports. “In my heart of hearts, I just feel like I earned the third spot,” Tarmoh told The Associated Press late Sunday. “I almost feel like I was kind of robbed.”
Sports Illustrated reports that Felix plans to be at Eugene field to participate in the run as scheduled, though the 26-year-old Olympic veteran has said that staying healthy is her first priority, and that she plans to pull out if anything feels wrong with her body.
The race is scheduled to be televised live on NBC at 5pm Pacific/8pm EDT—that is, if Tarmoh shows.
According to a statement from the USATF, Tarmoh has officially withdrawn, and the race has been cancelled. In an email, she said:
"I Jeneba Tarmoh have decided to decline my 3rd place position in the 100m dash to Allyson Felix. I understand that with this decision I am no longer running the 100m dash in the Olympic Games and will be an alternate for the event."
USATF President and Chariman Stephanie Hightower has expressed remorse over the outcome but is focused on the future.
"We are disappointed that Jeneba has changed her mind regarding her position on the Olympic team," she said. "We all worked hard to reach a consensus on the tiebreaker, but we know that Allyson, Carmelita and Tianna will represent Team USA well."