Monday, July 2, 2012
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Scott Chadez removes a scoreboard at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials on Monday, July 2, 2012 in Eugene, Ore. Jeneba Tarmoh has conceded her spot in the 100 meters rather than race against training partner Allyson Felix. Tarmoh notified USA Track and Field on Monday of her intention to withdraw. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
EUGENE, Ore. -- Wallace Spearmon took another step toward erasing the bad memories of his disqualification at the Beijing Olympics, overcoming a slow start to win the 200-meter final in 19.82 seconds at the U.S. trials.
"That's definitely something that's been on my mind since 2008," he said. "It's hard to make one Olympic team, go and make the final, step on the line when you thought you had a medal, do about 300 meters of the victory lap and have to live with that."
Allyson Felix and Jeneba Tarmoh can probably relate.
Spearmon's victory at Hayward Field on Sunday -- and his chance for redemption at the London Games after losing the bronze medal because of a lane violation in Beijing -- was overshadowed by a runoff between Felix and Tarmoh that was originally set for Monday afternoon.
That winner-take all race to settle a third-place tie in the 100 for the final spot on the U.S. Olympic team was put into limbo late Sunday when Tarmoh began having second thoughts about agreeing to the runoff.
Tarmoh's agent, Kimberly Holland, told The Associated Press she would not run, and USA Track and Field confirmed Tarmoh's withdrawal on Monday morning.
Felix and Tarmoh finished in a dead heat in the 100 more than a week ago behind winner Carmelita Jeter and Tianna Madison, putting the team for the event in limbo. Track officials had no policy in place to resolve it but the next day devised a tiebreaker that included the options of a runoff or a coin flip.
The decision was put off eight days to allow Felix and Tarmoh to focus on the 200, which Felix handily won Saturday night. Tarmoh finished fifth.
On Sunday morning, the athletes got together with track officials and decided on the runoff that Tarmoh later reconsidered.