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Run off, or coin toss, will break tie.

Byline: Steve Mims The Register-Guard

The third-place tie from Saturday's women's 100 meters probably will be broken by a run-off or a coin toss before the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials wrap up on Sunday.

Nearly 24 hours after the final ended with Jeneba Tarmoh and Allyson Felix in a dead heat at 11.068 seconds for the third and final spot on the U.S. Olympic team, USA Track & Field announced a tiebreaker procedure that gives the athletes the option of a coin toss or "run-off" and a formula to determine which procedure would be used should the athletes disagree on the tiebreaker.

USATF officials had to scramble to come up with a tiebreaker procedure because there was nothing in the rulebook in case of a dead heat to determine an Olympic berth, a scenario that had no precedent. The United States Olympic Committee approved the tiebreaker procedure.

The first option to determine the third member of the team would be if either Tarmoh or Felix declined her position on the team and gave it to the other, but that seems unlikely for the two who are training partners under coach Bob Kersee.

Felix and Tarmoh will choose whether they want the coin flip or run-off, but if they disagree, the tie will be broken by the run-off. If both athletes refuse to give a preference, the tie will be broken by a coin toss.

The tie must be broken before the end of the meet.

"We need to have our selection complete by the end of the Trials," USATF spokeswoman Jill Geer said. "We cannot wait until Monday."

Both Tarmoh and Felix are entered in the women's 200, which features qualifying rounds Thursday and Friday before the final at 6:50 p.m. Saturday. Kersee told The Associated Press that the sprinters won't decide on a tiebreaker until after the 200 final.

"I'm asking them to focus on the 200 meters, go through drug testing and hopefully they'll both make the team in the 200 meters," Kersee told AP. "Then we'll meet as a group, we'll meet with USA Track and Field. I will be in the room on the meeting, but I will have no decision-making power."

If the two decide on a run-off, the specifics would be determined by USATF Chief of Sport Performance Benita Fitzgerald Mosley.

If they choose a coin toss, the athlete with the higher world ranking - Felix - would choose heads or tails.

The policy will be used for any running event at the Trials that ends with a dead heat for a spot on the Olympic team.

"USATF will be ensuring that any team selection has these type of procedures moving forward," Geer said. "Whether it is absolutely identical word-for-word, I can't say, but it is definitely our intention that this type of procedure will be on the books heading into any other national championship where we are selecting a national team. Nobody wants to repeat this process."
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Title Annotation:Olympic Track-Field Trials
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Jun 25, 2012
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