*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 Olympics is nothing without athletics. It’s the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay races that capture the world’s imagination and creates sporting icons in seconds.
This year we won’t be having the dazzling lights of Usain Bolt to distract us from the rest of the field. The Tokyo Olympics could well produce the greatest variety of athletics medalists in more than a generation.
And so, Paddy Power has taken a deep dive into the Olympics betting odds to pick out some top tips for the athletics. We can’t bet on Bolt anymore… so here’s where you may want to place your money!
With no Bolt, Justin Gatland or Christian Coleman at these Games, the men’s 100m final is a genuinely competitive event once again. Trayvon Bromell – the 26-year-old Floridian – is currently the Olympics athletics betting favourite to win the 100m. Injury meant Bromell finished eighth in the Rio 100m final and was part of the US 4x100m team that was disqualified. Five years on and he is out to claim what many believe is rightfully his – the 100m gold.
Bromell has competition from South Africa’s Akani Simbine and compatriot Ronnie Baker. Andre De Graase and Yohan Blake are also floating around the odds. But Bromell ran 9.80 in his US Olympic trials back in June and should shave off more time in Tokyo. He’s no Bolt, but right now he’s probably unstoppable.
Women’s 100m and 200m
Great Britain could well have another sprint champion in their ranks this summer when Dina Asher-Smith takes to the track. Yet realistically gold may be a stretch too far for the 25-year-old. Asher-Smith has Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Elaine Thompson-Herah to compete with in the women’s 100m, and Gabby Thomas, Shaunae Miller-Uibo and Thompson-Herah contending for the 200m.
The NAP bet, though, is for Asher-Smith to claim a medal here. She has two shots at winning a minimum bronze, and could well push for silver in the 100m. A gold may be a stretch too far.
As for an NB, Thompson-Herah is a good shout to claim silver in both the women’s 100m and 200m. The Jamaican dominated those events in Rio but Fraser-Pryce is running faster than her right now. A double silver ahead of the 4x100m relay would not be a surprise.
Men’s 400m hurdles
Norway aren’t exactly famed for their athletics prowess but Karsten Warholm could well change a few attitudes towards the Scandinavian country this summer. The 25-year-old is a hurdles master and currently boasts the 400m hurdles world record at 46.70. Warholm reached only the semi-finals of the 400m hurdles in Rio but has since kicked on with golds in the World and European Championships.
Having cracked a 29-year-old world record this summer, Warholm heads to Tokyo in the form of his life. America’s Rai Benjamin is realistically the only man who can stop the Norwegian grabbing gold here. The rest are battling for bronze.
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