Olympic officials were prepared for just about anything – except for a tie.
With just three sots available on the U.S. Olympic track team, two female competitors tied for third place in the women’s 100 meters this weekend. They both crossing over the finish line at precisely the same moment, meaning the last Olympic spot could very well be determined by a flip of the coin.
Allyson Felix and Jeneba Tarmoh appeared to cross the line at exactly the same time. Cameras that were recording the race at 3,000 frames per second couldn’t determine who crossed first.
Both runners recorded finishing times of 11.068 seconds. What are the odds?
Carmelita Jeter came in first place with Tianna Madison finishing in second, giving them the opportunity to represent the U.S. at the 2012 London Olympics.
So who will get the coveted third slot? USA Track & Field is now facing quite a dilemma.
There are no official procedures in place for a dead heat at U.S. Olympic Team track and field trials, so the U.S. Olympic Committee announced new rules yesterday.
One of the runners can choose to forfeit her spot on the Olympic team. Yeah, right.
If neither one opts to do so, they will be asked if they would like to run a tie-breaking race – or flip a coin.
If they agree on the same option, the U.S. Olympic Committee will abide by that decision.
If they do not agree, they will have to run the tie-breaking race.
If neither athlete expresses a preference one way or the other, officials will flip a quarter.
No date has yet been set for the tie-breaker, but both competitors have additional races to run this week – so stay tuned!
You can view video of the race below, in which officials initially awarded third place to Tarmoh before taking another look later in the day.
- Allyson Felix-Jeneba Tarmoh tie in 100 meters to be broken by run-off or coin flip – Yahoo! Sports (sports.yahoo.com)
- Coin toss may determine Olympics slot after photo finish (edition.cnn.com)
- Coin toss or runoff will decide Felix-Tarmoh tie (espn.go.com)