Allyson Felix is a supreme athlete. She has won an Olympic gold medal in Beijing as part of Team USA’s 4x400m relay group and has also won an individual silver medal in the 200m at both the 2008 Beijing games and the 2004 Athens Games. At the World Championships she has claimed a vast number of golds running a range of sprints.
Before the US Trials she was said to be torn on which events to compete in. Talented, driven and somewhat of an international name the team would be happy to have here represent the nation in whichever event she chose to specialize in.
However, at the trials she opted to drop out of her best event, the 400m, to focus on the 200m. To help her with this she entered into the 100m trials so as to help with any 200m preparations. She even made her way to the final race at the trials.
Allyson Felix finished third. Normally this would be enough to see her going to London as a 100m sprinter, but the problem is that she finished third alongside another competitor.
Jeneba Tarmoh and Felix finished in a dead heat as both of their torsos crossed the line at exactly 11.068s. There is no protocol for separating the two. The third spot remains unfilled.
Now officials have told the pair that they will either decide the third sprinter off to the Games via a sprint-off or a coin toss.
Neither woman will make a decision until after they have finished the 200m finals at the trials, but it is needless to say that this is a truly bizarre and beguiling set of circumstances. One of the US’ best sprinters may miss an event because of a coin toss.