Paul Day’s Olympics’ Update

August 14th, 2016 | Marten Julian's Guest Contributor News

The athletics is well underway now and tonight we have the Men’s 100m. The semi-finals take place at 1am with the final at 2 25am and for sports fans it has to be worth staying up!

Usain Bolt looked in better form, to my eyes, in the first round heat but he wasn’t pushed at all.

Justin Gatlin, the former drugs cheat, is the main danger and it’s definitely possible he can beat Bolt, but last year he tensed up in the final and Bolt won even though he may not have been in quite such good shape.

I wouldn’t recommend betting on the race this time. Bolt is available to back at 1.42 on Betfair, Gatlin at 4.1 with Yohan Blake, Bolt’s compatriot, next best at 30.

It should be a great spectacle, and I hope Usain can extend his Olympic record.

The Men’s 400m final is also on tonight. I have re-watched the semi-finals and I think the gold medal is between Kirani James, Wayde Van Niekerk and LeShawn Merritt. It will be close and I agree with the betting market, James is the favourite at 2.2, with Van Niekerk at 2.9 and Merritt at 5.5. If forced to bet I’d take James.

Matthew Hudson Smith has done incredibly well to qualify for the final but I don’t think he can win. The podium should be the three favourites but you never know in an Olympic final, and the favourites could take each other on and it’s just possibly one of them could fade.

I don’t expect a world record in either of these events.

The Men’s 800m final is tomorrow night. I watched the semi-finals closely and I liked the way David Rudisha was moving. He is the reigning champion and the world record holder, at around 1.4, 2/5, he is a back in my opinion.

Taoufik Makhloufi, a shock winner of the 1500m in London, looked in much better form and might again be able to challenge for medals in both the 800m and 1500m. Rudisha, although strong, may not be in quite the form he was in London when he set his world record.

The cycling continues in the velodrome with the Men’s Sprint final and the Men’s Omnium. Team GB are bound for gold and silver in the Sprint with Jason Kenny the worthy favourite to beat Callum Skinner.

Mark Cavendish starts his quest for Olympic glory this evening in the Men’s Omnium – six events with all counting towards the final result. Cavendish was in exceptional sprinting form in the Tour de France, and he believes his improvement on the road has come from his training for the track.

My friend who studies cycling believes the Columbian, Fernando Gaviria, is a solid favourite to beat Cavendish. It’s a competitive event and you need a certain amount of luck in some of the events – Gaviria is trading at 3.15/3.2 with Cavendish at 4.5/4.9 and I have had a small bet on Gaviria.

The Women’s Omnium starts tomorrow evening and I hope Laura Trott can retain her title. Her price to back at 1.7 is mighty short given that she faces one of cycling greats in the American, Sarah Hammer. It should be an exciting series of races but I think Trott will prevail and gain her fourth gold medal.

Andy Murray plays Juan Martin Del Potro in the final this evening over five  sets. I think Murray will prove too good and retain his title.

Enjoy the Games