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OT Tie At Olympic Trials

Posted by on Jun. 25, 2012 at 3:27 PM
  • 5 Replies
Ok, maybe it's just me, but I'm amazed that they don't have any set way of handling a photo finish tie at an Olympic trial event. I also feel slo bad for the ladies, who train together, with the same coach and both have lucrative Nike deals promising a huge bonus to the one who makes the Olympic team. Whoever is deemed 4th place will be super bummed.

And I think a coin toss is a silly way to handle it. They should just do the race-off to determine who makes it, IMO.


http://www.oregonlive.com/trackandfield/index.ssf/2012/06/us_olympic_trials_meet_officia.html
View full sizeThe Associated Press
This photo provided by USA Track & Field shows the third-place finish of the women's 100-meter final from a photo-finish camera, shot at 3,000-frames-per-second, during the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials in Eugene on Saturday. Allyson€ Felix and Jeneba Tarmoh, in foreground, finished in a dead heat for the last U.S. spot in the 100 to the London Games, each leaning across the finish line in 11.068 seconds.
EUGENE-- It took eleven seconds for Allyson Felix and Jeneba Tarmoh to cross the finish line in the 100-meter finals on Saturday and 24 hours for meet officials to respond to the unprecedented race finish.

Felix and Tarmoh tied for third place -- the final spot on the Olympic team. The dead heat was so rare that a tiebreaker had never been established, even in the event's long history.

On Sunday evening, USATF spokeswoman Jill Geer announced the new procedure for breaking a third-place tie in the 100 and any running event in the future for which a U.S. national or Olympic team is selected.

Unless one athlete declines her position, the runners will decide between a run-off and a coin toss.

If they can't come to an agreement, a run-off will occur. If they don't have a preference? A coin toss.

Either way, the decision must be made and a team finalized by the end of the trials on Sunday, July 1.

Former world champion Felix and her lesser-known training partner Tarmoh were  notified of the new tie-breaking process on Sunday, Geer said. Officials will work with the two and their coach, Bobby Kersee, to decide what's next.

But Felix and Tarmoh can't get caught up in the tiebreaker just yet, as they have another race, the 200, coming up Thursday. Felix is a three-time world champion and Olympic silver medalist in the event; Tarmoh placed third in it at the 2011 U.S. Championships.

The weekend's debacle threw the two into an emotional waiting game and left onlookers wondering how it could have occurred in the first place.

The immediate, unofficial results showed Tarmoh as the third place finisher, behind Carmelita Jeter and Tianna Madison. Felix, who was trying the 100-200 double, instead of a 200-400, for the first time on the big stage, tried to come to terms with the defeat.  

"It hurts," she said minutes after the race, battling tears. "I definitely feel God has a bigger plan. We always make plans and think we know best. And sometimes it's just not the case.

"That's my teammate who got third. I'm happy for her."

Meanwhile, timers and referees jumped to review the close finish, studying photos shot at 3,000 frames per second. They looked to determine which runner's torso crossed first, but found that impossible. It was a dead heat, officials declared. Both runners clocked 11.068.

USATF workers and representatives of the Olympic track and field community scrambled to come up with a resolution and get the stamp of approval from the United States Olympic Committee.

Included in the new tie-breaking procedure was one final note: "If the run-off also results in a dead heat, the tie will be broken by a coin toss."


— Rachel Stark




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by on Jun. 25, 2012 at 3:27 PM
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Replies (1-5):
mem82
by Platinum Member on Jun. 25, 2012 at 3:35 PM

I don't really pay attention to the Olympics but that does seem like a bad way to handle it.

kirbymom
by Sonja on Jun. 25, 2012 at 3:47 PM

 This! and  Agreed.

Quoting mem82:

I don't really pay attention to the Olympics but that does seem like a bad way to handle it.

 

gacgbaker
by Bronze Member on Jun. 26, 2012 at 5:09 AM

Wow, I had no idea they had no tiebreaker precedent- I would really have thought they would!  

bluerooffarm
by Gold Member on Jun. 26, 2012 at 7:18 AM

 Ugh!  A coin toss?  Really?  I get that an injury could occur in a run off which was one reason I heard for not doing it, but they risk injury every time they race don't they?  I realize this would be the "race of their lives," and that they would push themselves harder than maybe they should.  BUT I don't think a coin toss is the way to go here.

KickButtMama
by Shannon on Jun. 26, 2012 at 8:43 AM
1 mom liked this
Quoting bluerooffarm:

 Ugh!  A coin toss?  Really?  I get that an injury could occur in a run off which was one reason I heard for not doing it, but they risk injury every time they race don't they?  I realize this would be the "race of their lives," and that they would push themselves harder than maybe they should.  BUT I don't think a coin toss is the way to go here.




Huh, I hadn't even thought of the injury thing. But I agree, they risk that in PRACTICE!
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