Five Olympics athletics tips for August 13-14: Dafne Schippers, Kirani James feature
Jamie Clark | August 12, 2016
Five Olympics athletics tips for August 13-14
Friday sees the start of the Olympics athletics events in track and field, and that means there’s money to be made.
What look like the best value bets of the August 13-14 weekend in this sport in Rio de Janeiro? Coral’s expert looks at five Olympics athletics tips on these opening days of track and field action:
Women’s Shot Put
China’s Lijiao Gong is the world leader in this event in 2016, throwing 20m 43cm, which is 6cm further than the winning mark from last year’s World Athletics Championships.
Although New Zealand shot putting legend Valerie Adams missed that competition in Beijing and has since returned, she has 20cm to find on the Chinese athlete this season.
With Germany’s world champion Christina Schwanitz also in the mix, but also with plenty to find if able to challenge the world lead distance, Lijiao Gong is a tempting 7/2 punt here.
Polish athlete Piotr Malachowski has three of the six throws beyond 68m recorded in competitions this season, and just needs an Olympics title to go with World Athletics Championships and European Golds.
Only four men have launched the Discus further in history than Malachowski and, although one of those in Gerd Kanter re-opposes here the Estonian isn’t in that sort of shape now.
While the Harting brothers from Germany are also Discus contenders, it is surprising to find Malachowski odds against at 11/10 to complete his major medals haul in Rio.
Men’s Long Jump
Forgive us if this doesn’t sound patriotic, but defending Olympics men’s Long Jump champion Greg Rutherford may have to set a new personal best if the Team GB hero from London 2012 is to deny new kid on the block Jarrion Lawson.
The 22-year-old American set the legal world lead mark of 8m 58cm for this season during the US Trials in July. Lawson also saw compatriot Jeff Henderson go out 1cm further in Eugene, but that was wind assisted, and this apart no other athlete has gone over 8m 50cm.
With Rutherford needing to produce something that is 7-8cm longer than he’s ever jumped in competition before, siding with Lawson for Gold here rewards punters with awesome odds of 11/4.
We are all bracing ourselves for the men’s equivalent with the final taking place on Sunday, but away from Usain Bolt v Justin Gatlin a fresher face to the casual athletics fan has emerged in women’s sprinting.
Dafne Schippers, the world 200m champion, may only have a personal best of 10.81 seconds over half that distance, but the Netherlands runner is expected to smash it at the Olympics.
While Elaine Thompson ran the joint fastest 100m time ever by a Jamaican woman when winning their national trials ahead of defending champ Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, she lost out on world Gold to Schippers round the bend in Beijing last summer.
Bearing her core strength from previously competing in the Heptathlon and rapid sprint improvement in mind, Schippers is splendid value at 7/4 for 100m glory and should be among any Olympics athletics tips you take.
Reigning Olympics champion over one lap of the track, Kirani James looks good value to challenge Wayde van Niekerk and the controversial LaShawn Merritt, who is taking the rare step of doubling up and featuring in the 200m as well.
Easily the greatest sporting export out of Grenada, James doesn’t have two events to focus on like Merritt, nor is he way down on last season’s best form like South African world champ Van Niekerk.
At 2/1 to retain his title, James can easily rise to the occasion during the first weekend of competition in Rio and is still only just 23.
Please note, all quoted odds above are correct prior to the events starting. Track competitions can have up to three rounds and field ones tend to have qualifying before the final.