A rare and bizarre situation popped up at the U.S. Track and Field Championships on Saturday when a photo finish revealed an absolute dead-heat tie for the final ticket to this summer's Olympics. Sprinters Jeneba Tarmoh and Allyson Felix appeared to finish third and fourth in the final of the women's 100-meter dash, but the state of the art cameras — that shoot at 3,000 frames per second — showed that they actually crossed the finish line at the exact same time. Normally, that wouldn't be such a big deal except that the race was also being used to determine the runners who will represent the U.S. at the London Olympics next month. The U.S. is only allowed to send three runners and number four will watch from home.
Complicating matters even more is that the U.S. Track and Field association and the United States Olympic Committee had no tie-breaker rule in place, because ties at major competitions almost never happen. (Thanks to those fancy hyper-sensitive cameras.) Official announced last night that the two runners will be given a choice between a two-person run-off or a coin flip to determine who gets the Olympic spot.
Both Felix and Tarmoh (who have same coach and both sponsored by Nike) are also competing for a spot in the 200-meter race and will likely not make their choice until after that one is decided.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.