LONDON – Allyson Felix knows full well she has a pretty pristine reputation.
She also knows that’s why there were those who were surprised she decided to not step aside and give training partner Jeneba Tarmoh a berth in the 100 meters at the Olympics after their dead heat at the U.S. trials – a choice Felix found herself defending at a news conference Tuesday.
“Everyone just expected me to give up this spot, because I think lots of people … know me and they know that I’m seen as this very nice girl,” Felix said with a chuckle.
“But it’s not just about me,” added the 26-year-old from Los Angeles, explaining that she had to take into account her coach, Bobby Kersee, family members and others who helped and supported her.
“It’s about Bobby and the time he invested in me. It’s about my parents and the sacrifices they made, my brother and the agents that are working with me – and just everyone who’s invested their time in me,” Felix said.
Felix and Tarmoh tied for third in the 100 at Eugene, Ore., in June, and only three women were allowed to represent the country in London. Caught without any rule governing that sort of result, USA Track and Field scrambled to come up with a way to break the tie, with the athletes eventually settling on a head-to-head sprint.
“We both deserved it. We both deserved to fight for it,” Felix said.
But it was Tarmoh who opted to withdraw from the run-off hours beforehand, ceding the spot to Felix.
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