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Fourth-Place Medal

Allyson Felix defends her controversial dead-heat decision vs. Jeneba Tarmoh

Fourth-Place Medal


LONDON — Jeneba Tarmoh isn't running in the London Olympics, but she's still chasing Allyson Felix.

Please recall that Felix and Tarmoh finished in a dead heat for third place in the 100-meter sprint at the Olympic trials in Eugene, Ore., back in June. There was some debate about a tie-breaking procedure — everything from a coin-flip to a run-off was discussed — but Tarmoh eventually withdrew. She gave up her spot on the three-woman entry for the Olympic 100 meters to Felix, her training partner.

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Tarmoh gave an explosive interview to SI.com last week in which she said, "I'm always going to remember my first Olympics as the year when my 100-meter spot was taken away from me," believing that she won the race rather than it ending in a tie.

Felix was asked about those comments on Tuesday in London, and why she didn't just surrender her spot in the 100 meters since she already had a spot in the Olympic 200 meters wrapped up.

She said it's not about her.

Here's Felix, from Tuesday's presser:

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"This is not something that I started last year. This is not an easy thing. I remember when I first came to [coach Bob Kersee] eight years ago. We sat in a Coco's restaurant and he asked me what I wanted to accomplish. I told him that at the Olympics, I wanted to run the 100, the 200, the 4x100 and the 4x400. At the time he said, 'That's a lot, but I think that we can do it.' It was right then that we started training for it.

"From then to now, there's been tons of ups and downs: Heartbreaks, everything along the way. Everyone sees this one moment on the track and they forget that this is your lifestyle. This is what you sacrifice enormously [for].

"I think everyone just expected me to give up this spot because … they know me. They know I'm very nice girl [laughs] and I've given up a spot before. There was a thought that this would just be automatic.

"But it's not just about me. It's about Bobby, and the time he invested in me. It's about my parents, and the sacrifices they made. It's about my brother and agents that are working with me. Everyone that's invested their time in me."

Regarding her relationship with Tarmoh, Felix said she wouldn't go into specifics. "But I think anyone who's looked at this situation, you know that me and Jeneba are together all the time. I think that speaks for itself," she said.

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