Olym-Picks: Monday's Top Tips at London 2012


Men's beach volleyball: Gibb/Rosenthal (USA) vs Plavins/Smedins (Latvia) - 7pm

Looking for some underdogs to get behind today? We've got just the pair. Janis Smedins and the beautifully-named Martins Plavins are representing Latvia in the beach volleyball quarter-finals at Horse Guards Parade.

While the USA pairing may be favourites, the form guide suggests that Plavins and Smedins could be worth a punt; they've dropped just one set in four matches so far and will come into this clash full of confidence. Gibb and Rosenthal have not been invincible in London, having lost to the Polish combination of Fijalek and Prudel seven days ago. Back Plavins and Smedins at 4.00.

Athletics: women's pole vault - 7pm

Yelena Isinbayeva will be looking to make history in London tonight by winning her third consecutive Olympic pole vault title. The Russian, whose CV contains so much gold that it's listed on some minor stock markets, cruised through qualifying on Saturday and will be confident of cementing her legacy this evening.

Her main competition comes from Jennifer Suhr (USA), Holly Bleasdale (Team GB) and Silke Spiegelburg (Germany), all of whom have vaulted over 4.80m this season. Isinbayeva, though, is the only athlete in the field to have broken the five-metre barrier in the run-up to the Games, and is simply a class above the field. Take the 1.55 available on her winning gold.

Men's volleyball: Brazil vs Germany - 10pm

Brazil's men, who are among the favourites in London, started the Olympics in fine style with commanding wins over Tunisia and Russia. They've since tailed off - losing to the USA and making hard work of Serbia - but would still expect to see off Germany this evening.

Germany, who were on the wrong end of whitewashes against Russia and the USA, are on the brink of elimination. While they'll be competitive, expect the quality of Brazil to tell. Back the South Americans at 1.55 even with a -1.5 set handicap.