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Third Place Of The Women’s 100 Meters Olympic Trial Ends In A Tie, Somehow
Last night’s 2012 Olympic trials featured the finals for the women’s 100 meters. First place and second place were clearly visible to the naked eye in real time, but third place was a bit dicey – Jeneba Tarmoh and Allyson Felix appeared to cross the finish line at the same time. So they went to the cameras at the finish line, which determined exactly nothing.
Here’s how USA Track & Field worked through the debacle:
“The outside camera is traditionally the one used in photo-finish images. In the women’s 100, the outside camera was inconclusive for determining third place due to athletes’ arms blocking a clear view of their torsos. Torso position is used to determine finishes and times.
Looking at the inside camera images, timers initially looked at the twisting upper bodies of Jeneba Tarmoh and Allyson Felix and interpolated the obscured body positions from the photo finish image. They posted Tarmoh as finishing third in unofficial results on the Hayward Field scoreboard.
Timers then immediately called referees to notify them of a potential dead heat. The photo-finish image, shot at 3,000-frames-per-second, was then analyzed by timers and referees and unanimously ruled to be a dead heat based on visual evidence. Tarmoh and Felix are both officially timed in 11.068 seconds.”
So, now what? Coin toss? Naked pillow fight? Rock, paper, scissors (no “says,” of course)? Officials are apparently working to determine the “necessary procedures” to break the tie because this has never happened before. It’s an especially sticky situation since whoever grabs third qualifies for the Olympics, while fourth place does not. We suggest a 1-on-1 showdown race, western music and all.
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