|After a rare race finish that was too close to call, what will the runners' call ultimately be? (USATF)|
In this case, the photo took 24 hours to develop.
Develop a decision, that is. A full day after Allyson Felix and Jeneba Tarmoh finished at virtually the same/indistinguishable millisecond in the women's 100-meter final at the U.S. Olympic trials, officials at the event have determined a way to settle the outcome.
As it stands, there are three choices on the figurative table.
- The two can hold a run-off, which is most likely going to be held next Sunday, July 1.
- Either of the runners can choose to secede their spot and give it to their American teammate.
- If Felix and Tarmoh can't agree to run again, and if either doesn't budge on her final position, the third spot on the team will be decided on a coin flip.
Adding to the complexity and delicacy of this decision, both runners are competing for spots in the 200-meter dash. That race is will be run next Saturday afternoon, and the runners' coach, Bobby Kersee, has stated he doesn't want the 100-meter decision to be made until after the women race and place in the 200.
Now, the great Sports Illustrated writer Tim Layden brings up a great point. What if Felix wins or places top-three the 200 on Saturday? She'd be in her third straight Olympics. The trip would be guaranteed. Tarmoh is just 21 and has never made the Olympics. (She won gold in the 100-meter at the 2009 World Junior Championships.) Would Felix give up her spot in the 100, effectively taking her name out of the running for "Fastest Female in the World"?
Ultimately, we still don't know how this is going to be resolved, even if the methods have been decided. What's more, due to the impact of the 200-meter outcome, it stands to reason we could get to Saturday and still not know which racer will take the final spot on the 100-meter team for the U.S.
Then, consider: what if injury comes? Coin flip it is, I guess. A lot of variables linger.
If the race is run, for my money, it's the most anticipated re-race since Jerry Seinfeld begrudgingly agreed to hit the pavement once more and take on his teenage rival in Duncan Meyer. I think we all remember how legitimate, dramatic and emotional those fleeting few seconds were.
Felix and Tarmoh would only top it, I'm guessing. Ladies, please ... choose to run!