Sprinters Allyson Felix and Jeneba Tarmoh finished in a dead heat for third place in the 100 meters at the Olympic trials on Saturday in Oregon, and they’re waiting to see how USA Track & Field decides to break the tie to determine the final member of the Olympic team.
Carmelita Jeter won the race in 10.92 seconds, and second-place went to Tianna Madison. Tarmoh was unofficially declared the third-place finisher, just .0001 seconds ahead of Felix, but a photo review determined that the two were tied.
USA Track & Field doesn’t have a rule to determine the final spot of an Olympic team in case of a tie.
A press release from USA Track & Field explains exactly what happened.
Apparently two cameras are generally set up to determine photo finishes — one on the outside and one on the inside. The outside camera is typically used, but it couldn’t be in this case because one of the runner’s arms was blocking the torso. The torso is used to determine finishing times.
According to USA Track & Field:
The photo-finish image, shot at 3,000-frames-per-second, was then analyzed by timers and referees and unanimously ruled to be a dead heat based on visual evidence. Tarmoh and Felix are both officially timed in 11.068 seconds.
Right now, all we can do is wait to see what the tie-breaker will be. The only consolation for the losing runner is that both sprinters are scheduled to race in the 200m and will have a chance to qualify in that event.
You can watch video of the race at NBC.
Photo via USA Track and FieldGoogle+