Tokyo Olympics tips: Best bets for the men’s 100m showdown

Our Olympic nerd Ollie Fallon looks at the Usain Bolt-less blue riband event at Tokyo 2020.


*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

The Favourite

Trayvon Bromell returns to the Olympics in 2021 with some unfinished business to become the fastest man in the world after finishing last of the field in the 2016 final with a time of 10.06.

The American had an injury ravaged season in 2016 though and a fully fit Bromell ran a time 9.84 in the US National trials prior to the Olympics that year. A repeat of that run in the 2016 Olympic final would have had him finish a close second to Usain Bolt (9.81).


Bromell, who stands 5 ft 8 inches tall has the world class drive phase you would expect from a smaller sprinter but compliments that with the top end speed and speed maintenance of a longer limbed athlete. This sees him run though the line rather than drop off at the 60m stage of the race when the tall guys get into fifth gear.

Bromell is undefeated this season and ran 9.77 in June which is the fastest time this year.

The Competition

Reigning world champion Christian Coleman is suspended for missing three drug tests within a 12-month span.

Fred Kerley, a former silver medallist at the world championships in the 400m scratched that event this year to focus on the 100m and 200m at the Olympic Trials.

The gamble paid off he has significantly improved his personal best in 100m from 10.49 to 9.86 to qualify for Tokyo Olympics.

Ronnie Baker ran the third-fastest time in history over 60m so expect to see him setting the pace in the final.

Baker, 27, has never made a US team, world championships or Olympics and may lack the experience on the biggest stage to take the gold.

Baker and Kerley, who finished second and third in the National Trials respectively in 9.85 and 9.86, will head to their first Olympics.

Akani Simbine anchors the 4x100m impressive South African team. He has just broken the African record and second fastest time this year in the beginning of July 9.84. He has recently run world class anchor leg of 9.08 in a 4 x 100m suggesting there may be more to come.

Andre De Grasse, a bronze medallist in the 2016 Olympics, has been off the boil this year with a seasons best time of 9.99. He has the experience but will need to run a season’s best to make the final.

Best of the Rest

Where are the Jamaicans? I hear you say. Tyquendo Tracey had to push hard to win the Jamaican National Trials in a time of 10:00.

Team GB’s best hope Zharnel Hughes has not run sub 10 seconds this year and looks too focused on the 200m discipline. Chijindu Ujah also represents team GB.

It would be difficult to see any UK or Jamaican runners in the final eight.

Tlotliso Leotlela is a likeable South African that could be the dark horse in the 100m ranks. At the age of 17, Leotlela competed in 2016 Rio Olympics in 200m event. He did not make the semi-final but gained some valuable experience. The young sprinter ran 9.94 in the South African finals in May.

He looked to have started before the “B of the bang” in that race but created enough separation from the field to finish at a cruising speed that hinted there was more in the tank.

The USA three are likely to take the medals home but there is some value in the South Africans to spoil the party should anything go wrong with fancied runners.

In the gold medal market, the improving Akani Simbine could be the biggest threat to the favourite but the price is a little tight now.

Olympics Mens 100m best bets:

Gold Medal Winner – Trayvon Bromell (USA)
Gold Medal Winner – Tlotliso Leotlela (RSA)

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