Olympic Athletics Betting: Wednesday's Tips


Men's 5,000m

The new Olympic 10,000 metres champion, Mo Farah, on Wednesday starts his bid to join the legends of the Games such as Zatopek and Viren, by completing the track distance double with the 5,000m heats.

Farah is available at 2.15, and on the form he showed at the weekend, that looks very generous when you consider that Farah won the world title at 5,000 against much the same opposition just 12 months ago.

In the 10,000m, Farah took on the field in the final kilometre, running the last two laps of 62 and 53sec that no one else could match. It is that sort of pace which could win him a rare second gold.

Farah did the distance double at the 2010 European championships, but now has the confidence of his successes at world and Olympic level to propel him on to more.

This year he's won each of his four 5,000m outings, including a confidence-boosting early June 12:56.98 run in Eugene where he beat many of the world's best.

However, he no doubt watched with great interest the sizzling early July race in Paris that decided, among other things, the Ethiopian Olympic squad while making a significant revision to the all-time list.

The contest in the French capital signalled the official changing of the guard in the event for Ethiopia when Dejen Gebremeskel and Hagos Gebrhiwet, at 22 and 18 respectively, left world record-holder Kenenisa Bekele in the dust and off the squad for the 5,000m squad in London.

Their eye-balls-out battle over the final lap, covered in under 55 seconds, was won by Gebremeskel, whose 12:46.81 world leader elevated him all the way to No 5 all-time. Gebrhiwet wasn’t too far behind in second, his 12:47.53 moving him to the No. 7 position all-time as the new World junior record holder.

Both represent the big threat to Farah: Gebremeskel is 3.25, while his team mate, Gebrhiwet, is 8.00.

Leading the strong Kenyan attack is Isiah Kiplangat Koech, who lowered his career best to 12:48.64 with his third place finish in Paris. Just 18, he has nonetheless proven himself internationally already, having finished fourth at the World Championships last year. He was second behind Farah at the Prefontaine Classic and won the Ostrava 3000m. Koech is 11.00.

And then there’s Bernard Lagat,  who will be competing in his fourth Olympic Games in search of an elusive gold.

Lagat has done a double of his own in the past, at 1,500 and 5,000 at the 2007 world championships, though he is now 37 and last year, when he attacked Farah on the final lap at Daegu, he was left wanting.

He's raced sparingly - only at the US trials over 5000m and twice over one mile - but as one of the smartest tacticians on the circuit today, his competitors will only discount him at their peril. Lagat is 12.50.

In other events that get underway, Ashley Eaton, the new holder of the decathlon world record, can’t be opposed in the two-day challenge to determine the world’s best all-round athlete. The American is 1.20.

Men's Javelin

There’s more generous odds available for the likely winner of the men’s javelin, which has its qualifying round this morning, with 2012 world leader Vitezslav Vesely very backable at 3.25.

Vesely’s 88.11m season’s best puts him nearly two metres ahead of Latvia’s Vadims Vasilevskis, who is on offer at 22.00.

It could be dangerous to discount defending Olympic champion, Andreas Thorkildsen (3.25), but Norway’s hero has been below par this season and his form since May. Spear the profits available here by backing the Czech, and take Vasilesvskis at 5.50 to win a medal.

Women's 800m

There’s not so much value in the markets for the women’s 800m, which has its heats this morning: Kenya’s Pamela Jelimo is 2.35, while my outside fancy, Marya Savinova, the surprise world champion 12 months ago, is 3.25.