Track focus Saturday turns to women's 200
EUGENE, Ore. (AP)
The longest 100-meter dash ever is soon coming to a finish.
After Allyson Felix and Jeneba Tarmoh run in the 200-meter final Saturday night at Hayward Field, the two women will choose how they will resolve their third-place tie last weekend in the 100 meters.
A decision was expected either Saturday night or early Sunday. At stake was the third spot on the U.S. Olympic team in the event.
There are basically three options: Runoff, coin flip, or one athlete could concede the place on the team to the other.
If there is a runoff, it would likely have to come late Sunday, following the final day of events at the trials.
The pair, who train together, must first compete in the 200, which highlights a day of finals at the trials that includes the men's 110-meter hurdles and triple jump, and the women's high jump.
Among the other events is the semifinal for the men's 200, which was diluted when Tyson Gay and Justin Gatlin passed on the event after making the Olympic team in the 100, and Walter Dix dropped out because of a lingering left hamstring injury.
Dix won the bronze medal in both the 100 and 200 in Beijing. His best chance to make the team for the London Olympics will be if he is selected to the 400 relay team.
''We're missing Tyson, Walter and Justin - that's U.S. best right there,'' said 34-year-old Doc Patton, who advanced in his heat. ''The door is open for anyone in the field right now.''
But the focus will undoubtedly be on Felix and Tarmoh.
The 100 has become something of a debacle at the trials, because U.S. track and field officials had no plan in place to deal with dead heats.
It all started last Saturday.
Carmelita Jeter won the 100 in 10.92 seconds, followed by Tianna Madison in 10.96. It was announced to the Hayward Field crowd that Tarmoh edged training partner Felix by 0.0001 seconds to finish third in 11.068, but the results were immediately reviewed.
Two cameras were trained on the finish, but one image was obscured. The other showed that the two women were exactly even when their torsos - which determine times - hit the line.
USA Track and Field officials were caught off guard by the dead heat. With no official policy in place, it took 24 hours for a procedure to be devised that included the options of the coin flip and the runoff.
If both athletes choose the same tiebreaker, that's the method that will be used. If they disagree, the tiebreaker will be a runoff. And if both decide not to state a preference, a coin flip will decide the third member of the Olympic team.
The sprinters have elected to not say anything until after the 200. That way, they can focus on making the team in that event.
The USATF has said that it wants the Olympic team in all events to be finalized by Sunday.
On Friday afternoon, both Felix and Tarmoh advanced to Saturday's final. Mute since the controversy erupted in the 100, Felix just said ''feeling good'' afterward before she was whisked away by coach Bobby Kersee.
Also running in the 200 is Sanya Richards-Ross, who won the 400 earlier at trials.
''I felt good. My body felt really good,'' Richards-Ross said after turning in the top time 22.15 seconds in the semis. ''Yesterday I was little tight, and today I felt fresh.
''Hopefully, tomorrow I'll go even faster and put together another great race to win it.''
Hyleas Fountain leads the heptathlon after the first day of competition, while reigning Olympic champion Angelo Taylor had the top time in the 400 hurdles. The 110 hurdles went as expected with Aries Merritt, Jason Richardson, David Oliver and David Payne all advancing to the final Saturday.