Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Track and field missed out on a prime-time opportunity to highlight its sport

United States Track and Field missed out on a prime-time opportunity to highlight its sport.
A runoff was scheduled for earlier this week between Jeneba Tarmoh and Allyson Felix to decide which athlete would represent the United States in the women's 100 dash at the upcoming Olympics.
The race would have lasted a little over 11 seconds, but it would have been totally worth it to watch.
What could be better than two athletes competing for a spot on the Olympic team?
Instead, Jeneba chose to decline her third place position in the 100 dash to Felix.
"I understand that with this decision I am no longer running the 100 meter dash in the Olympic Games and will be an alternate for the event," Tarmon wrote in an e-mail to USATF President and Chairman Stephanie Hightower. "As an alternate I understand that I will be asked to run if another 100 meter runner decides not to for personal reasons and/or on the 4x100 meter relay."
Why not go ahead with the race?
What did Tarmoh have to lose?
Isn't that what you compete for your whole life?
A chance to be the best.
Instead, Tarmoh passed up that opportunity to be an alternate.
I'm not sure of her reasoning, but as an outsider looking in, I can't understand it.
I do know that it was exciting to watch the replays of the race and pictures which showed Tarmon and Felix crossing the finish-line in a dead heat on June 23 in what turned proved to be an official time of 11.068 seconds.
On the bright side, both women will be making the trip to London.
I just can't help but wonder what it would have been like if a tie-breaker race would have been held.

-Theresa Neuhoff Audia

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