Quitters Never Win

Allyson Felix won the easiest race of her life on Monday night in Eugene, Oregon.

In an attempt for the United States Track & Field officials to save face after a blunder that forced a runoff between Felix and Jeneba Tarmoh, one of the participants didn’t want to become part of a show.

Tarmoh quit on Monday morning.

She bailed on the runoff. She threw away her chance to broadcast her skills on national television. She didn’t show up.

“In my heart of hearts, I just feel like I earned the third spot,” she said Sunday. “I almost feel like I was kind of robbed.”

It’s not robbery when you don’t try. Tarmoh tied Felix in the 100-meter final last weekend. It took USATF a number of days to even come up with a somewhat suitable plan.

“We are disappointed that Jeneba has changed her mind regarding her position on the Olympic Team,” USATF president and chairman Stephanie Hightower said in a statement. “We all worked hard to reach a consensus on the tiebreaker, but we know that Allyson, Carmelita and Tianna will represent Team USA well.”

The options put in place by USATF included a runoff, a coin toss or conceding their place in the London Games. In an age when we can vote for a baseball player in an exhibition game from our telephone, how in the world did USATF not have a provisional plan for a dead heat?

Leave that to the side for a second. Here’s a better question. If you are an Olympic athlete, why would you give up a shot to prove you can make the team? Why quit? This isn’t a stand on any sort of social issue. Tarmoh felt she finished third, fake-smiled her way through an interview on Sunday night on NBC and then bailed at the last second.

She sure picked an interesting time to sit out. I’m guessing she didn’t think she could beat Felix. Why else wouldn’t you at least show up for the race?

Follow @WBALDash on Twitter for all things sport. And otherwise. 


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