Farah absent as Tarmoh upsets Felix in Diamond League
BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) Mo Farah's absence because of doping allegations surrounding his coach overshadowed the action in the Diamond League on Sunday, where Jeneba Tarmoh won a photo finish in the 200 meters and fellow American Marvin Bracy won the 100 in 9.93 seconds.
Farah, the world and Olympic 5,000 and 10,000-meter champion, withdrew on the morning of the Birmingham meet, saying he was ''emotionally and physically drained'' after a week in which coach Alberto Salazar was accused of using doping practices for his athletes at the Nike Oregon Project.
With Olympic champions Sally Pearson, Jessica Ennis-Hill and David Rudisha having previously pulled out, the fifth stop of the Diamond League was light on big names - and arguably the biggest remaining, four-time Olympic gold medalist Allyson Felix, was beaten into second place in the 200 by Tarmoh after both posted 22.29.
''I was shocked to win over Allyson,'' said Tarmoh, who ran 0.01 off her personal best from 2011. ''Now, I'm definitely confident I'll get a spot on the U.S. team for the world championship (in Beijing in August).''
Another U.S. sprinter in top form before the national trials on June 25-28 is Bracy, a former wide receiver for Florida State who started competing in track in 2013 and is making fast progress.
The 21-year-old Bracy said he felt a tweak in his right hamstring 10 meters into the 100 final but still ran a personal best to beat Britain's Adam Gemili, who clocked 9.97 - under 10 seconds for the first time.
Both Bracy and Gemili clutched their hamstrings in the final few meters but while Bracy came through fine, Gemili tumbled to the ground after the line and was taken away in a wheelchair.
''I'm ecstatic,'' Bracy, who ran 9.97 to win his heat, told The Associated Press. ''To come and drop 9 seconds twice in one day, and two hours later, lets me know moving forward to the American trials that I am ready to go rounds and can drop these types of times back to back.
''The trials are going to be amazing. We have a lot of guys dropping 9 seconds.''
Also, Olympic and former world champion Christian Taylor ofthe U.S. won the triple jump with 17.40 meters, and Dawn Harper-Nelson won the 100 hurdles in a season's best of 12.58 - and celebrated with cartwheels. Olympic champion Greg Rutherford of Britain won the long jump with 8.35.
Farah's no-show was a blow to organizers and the spectators who were eager for a glimpse of Britain's greatest ever long-distance runner, who was scheduled to contest the 1,500 meters to improve his base speed ahead of the world championship.
A visibly angry Farah appeared at the pre-event news conference on Saturday, bemoaning the reputational damage done to him by investigations by ProPublica and the BBC that alleged Salazar violated anti-doping rules and encouraging doping by one of his top runners, Galen Rupp.
No doping accusations were made against Farah - and both Salazar and Rupp deny any wrongdoing - but he feels tainted by association and released a statement hours before the Birmingham meeting saying he was returning to the United States to ''seek answers to my questions.''
''This week has been very stressful and taken a lot out of me,'' said Farah.
There was a smattering of applause when the news was transmitted to spectators over the loudspeakers before the opening event on a sunny, windy day in central England.
And they had to wait until the third-from-last race for some real excitement, when Tarmoh, Felix and Britain's Dina Asher Smith dipped at the line together. Tarmoh was awarded the victory and Asher-Smith was third with 22.30 for a personal best.
''I need to continue to work hard as I am a bit disappointed with my bend,'' said Felix, the Olympic 200 champion.