EUGENE, Oregon (Reuters) - Athletics officials should wait until Allyson Felix and Jeneba Tarmoh compete in the 200 meters trials before they make any move to break their tie for the final U.S. Olympic spot in the 100, their coach said on Sunday.
Felix and Tarmoh finished in a rare dead heat for third place in the 100 at the U.S. Olympic trials on Saturday, both credited with times of 11.068 seconds after a review of the photo finish.
The tie must be broken because only three athletes per event can represent their country in the Games.
“They need to leave my athletes alone and let me coach them in the 200, then make a decision,” Bob Kersee told Reuters in an early morning telephone call.
Kersee said he understood USA Track and Field (USATF) officials were talking about Olympic 200m silver medallist Felix and Tarmoh doing a runoff by Monday.
Both athletes are running in the 200, which begins on Thursday and concludes next Saturday.
“The powers-that-be need to come up with a better decision. This makes no sense,” the coach said, adding that he would not be a part of deciding which athlete goes to London.
“It would be like, which kid do you love the most?” he added.
Kersee said the decision should be made after the 200.
“After that, let Allyson and Jeneba, both of their managers and one major USA Track & Field official look at the photos,” Kersee said.
“If they all agree they can’t decide, then let them come up with a procedure to make the decision.”
USATF officials said on Saturday not even a review of pictures from two photo finish cameras could break the tie.
Tarmoh was originally given third place but after a close study of the photo finish officials called it a dead heat.
Pictures from the camera on the outside of the track were inconclusive due to athletes’ arms blocking a clear view of their torsos. The torso is usually used to determine finishes and times. Officials then reviewed the camera on the inside and called the race a tie.
Reporting By Gene Cherry in Eugene, Oregon; Editing by Peter Rutherford