Just days ago, Jeneba Tarmoh decided that she would battle Allyson Felix in a run-off for the third and final qualifying spot for the 100-meter sprint.
Then, Tarmoh conceded the run-off without explanation.
America now has the answers they deserve.
In an exclusive interview by NBC Sports, Tarmoh explains that she conceded the qualifying spot on the U.S. Olympic Team, because she felt she already won the race.
“I felt pressured into having to make a decision. They said, ‘Do you want to concede or do you want to run?’ I was like, ‘Are those my only two options?’ They said yes, so I said, ‘Yes, I will run.’ But then as I was going throughout the day, I thought about it and I ran that 100m, I took my victory lap, I went through the press conference, I got my medal, and then they tell me I have to run again, after I ran six rounds of the 100m and 200m?”
Further in the interview, Tarmoh says that she does not expect Americans to understand her decision.
How could we?
Tarmoh was millimeters away from achieving her dream, and when faced with adversity, she throws it away.
How many of you would give up on your dream that easily?
Maybe she was scared to lose to Felix in a footrace. Maybe she would be nervous and tired from already running so many events.
It is clear from her answers in the interview that she is trying to blame others around her.
In the NBC Sports interview, she clearly contradicts herself. When asked why she didn't originally say “no” to the race, Tarmoh responds:
“At the time, I can safely say that I was pushed into a corner. They said, ‘Jeneba, you have five minutes and two options, run or give it up.’ In the heat of the moment, anybody would have said run. But then, with time you are going to think about it some more and weigh in more options. I said to myself, ‘What’s the worst that can happen? If you’re happy, why are you going to make a decision that makes you unhappy?”
Then when asked who she was referring to:
"I don’t know all of their names. They didn't push me exactly, but they said ‘these are your options.’ It was Max (Siegel) and Stephanie (Hightower). They didn’t really say, ‘You have to choose,’ but I felt like I was pressured. It was me."
Tarmoh claims in the story that she told Felix “her heart would not be in it.”
What couldn't your heart be into?
Does a one-on-one, sudden death race for a spot on the U.S. Olympic team not do it for you?
The U.S. Track and Field team will be better off in London without Tarmoh. Her attitude towards her sport is disheartening, and at the first sign of adversity, she probably would throw the chance at a gold medal down the Thames River.
Hopefully, Felix will pull off the upset and hand-deliver a gold medal to Tarmoh, thanking her for her cowardliness.
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