World Athletics day eight: Sprint relays and Farah over 5k feature
Mo Farah is in pole position for a third consecutive World Athletics Championships title over 5000m, and Coral make arguably Great Britain’s best long-distance runner of all-time massively odds-on at 1/5 to complete the double in the Bird’s Nest in Beijing.
From a British punters’ perspective, that 5k race is the highlight of the penultimate day of action from China. Hagos Gebrhiwet of Ethiopia scooped Silver behind Farah in Moscow two years ago, and could be main danger again at 9/1; although, there’s his compatriot Yomif Kejelcha (11/2) to consider, who is a raw talent and world junior champ.
USA multi-discipline athlete Ashton Eaton looks set to wrap up a successful defence of his Decathlon crown on day two of the event, as he holds a healthy 173 points lead over Commonwealth and Pan American Games champion Damian Warner.
Following on from the surprise Gold medal for Sergey Shubenkov in the men’s sprint hurdles, Russia have two leasing contenders in the women’s high jump. Anna Chicherova is odds-on at 5/6 to regain the world title she won on East Asian soil in Daegu four years ago ahead of compatriot Maria Kuchina (11/4), and the pair look a cut above the field on paper.
Kenya top the medal table after seven of nine days, and look set for a seventh Gold of these championships in the women’s 800m. Eunice Jepkoech Sum is 5/6 to retain the world crown and follow up her Commonwealth crown from the Glasgow games last summer. Looking beyond her is a bold call round two laps of the track, though Melissa Bishop (3/1) of Canada took the Pan American Games title a few weeks back.
Piotr Malachowski has been denied men’s discus Gold by Robert Harting but, with the German thrower injured and unable to defend the title, this looks like being the Pole’s time to shine. Odds-on at 1/2 to finally be on top of the medal podium, Malachowski kept plenty in reserve during qualifying, so big efforts are expected from him here.
The sprint relays cap off this penultimate day of the championships, and it’s the usual suspects fancied to flourish. In the men’s 4x100m, the USA (8/11) are ahead of Jamaica (11/10) as it remains to be seen whether sprint double champ Usain Bolt will race in this event after a bizarre trackside collision with a Segway.
When it comes to the women, the role of favourites are reversed. Caribbean country Jamaica (8/13) are fancied to stop the United States (11/8).
Coral’s top tip: Bolt could still race if he wants, so 11/10 on the Jamaicans to get men’s sprint relay Gold looks as good a bet as any.