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Allyson Felix sees Olympic 100-meter hopes restored by scoring change, but faces a tiebreaker

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EUGENE, Ore. – More than two hours after apparently finishing fourth in the women's 100-meter final at the U.S. Track and Field Olympic Trials here Saturday, Allyson Felix now is listed as finishing in a dead heat with Jeneba Tarmoh for the third and final qualifying spot for the Olympic team.

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Torso position is used to determine finishing time. (USATF photo)

Carmelita Jeter won the final, with Tianna Madison finishing second. Tarmoh and Felix battled for third, with Tarmoh initially being declared in front via photo finish with a final time of 11.068 seconds.

Track representatives said later that one of the angles of the photo finish was obscured, and that greater scrutiny on the second angle by referees and timers determined that Tarmoh and Felix finished in a dead heat.

USATF spokesperson Jill Geer said officials were meeting to determine a method of tiebreaker, as only three athletes can qualify for the 100. When asked whether a run-off between Tarmoh and Felix was a possibility, Geer said nothing had been ruled out.

There is no timetable for a decision on the tie. Because both Felix and Tarmoh will be going to London as part of the women's relay teams pool, it is possible that no decision needs to be made at this time. Rather, U.S. officials could wait until closer to the London Games to determine the entrants in the 100 meters.

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Felix could be seen crying after the event when she believed she had finished fourth.

"Fourth is the worst and I'm just really disappointed," she said. "I worked really hard and it just didn't come together. … I am happy for my teammate getting third, but I am really disappointed."

Felix, who won the 100 at the 2010 U.S. outdoor track championships, is a five-time U.S. champion in the 200 and also is competing in that event at the trials. She won the silver in the event at the 2008 Beijing Games, and was part of the gold-winning 4x400 team there.

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Tarmoh finished third last year in the 200 at the U.S. outdoor championships. She is preparing for her first Olympic team.

The scoring change wasn't the first of the day. Earlier, defending Olympic decathlon gold medalist Bryan Clay was disqualified from the 110-meter hurdles after kicking down a gate. His time later was reinstated, but by then he had fouled out of the discus and stood no chance of making the team. Clay admitted he wasn't focused during the discus competition after believing his hurdles time still did not count.

Ashton Eaton went on to win the decathlon, setting a world record in the process.

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