World Athletics day three: Lavillenie primed for pole vault Gold
Renaud Lavillenie can finally end his World Athletics Championships hoodoo by winning Gold in the men’s pole vault at the fourth attempt, and Coral make the Frenchman an overwhelming odds-on 1/4 favourite to do just that on day three of the 2015 edition from Beijing.
In qualifying, Lavillenie sailed over 5m 70cm, some 35cm down on his best effort outdoors that he set earlier this year, but he is simply a cut above all his rivals.
Punters who remain skeptical about an athlete who has bottled the world final before will be attracted to the 6/1 price available for 2013 winner Raphael Holzdeppe to defend the crown. This definitely looks to be Lavillenie’s time, though.
Day three’s morning session sees qualifying for the women’s pole vault and discus, plus men’s long jump featuring Olympic and Commonwealth champion Greg Rutherford in action. He is a nifty 9/4 to complete his Gold meal collection with a world title.
On the track, there’s also the ladies’ 3000m Steeplechase and 400m heats, which includes another British hero Christine Ohuruogu. A defence of her sprint crown looks unlikely at 12/1, but she has a canny knack of peaking at major championships.
Later in the day, there’s qualifying in the men’s javelin and a track semi over 400m. The ladies also bid to reach the 400m hurdles final.
Following the men’s Pole Vault, four further sets of medals will be up for grabs in the Bird’s Nest. The women’s triple jump sees reigning world champ Caterine Ibarguen of Colombia odds-on at 1/3 to defend the title.
Russia’ Ekaterina Koneva is the only lady to go over 15m this season, however, and a 5/1 price for her to take Gold is very tempting. She leads a contingent of Eastern European athletes who look the most likely to stop Ibarguen keeping hold of this crown.
Gabriela Petrova (5/1) of Bulgaria jumped furthest in qualifying, while Ukraine’s 2011 world champ Olga Saladukha (10/1), former teammate Hanna Knyazyeva-Minenko (16/1, now competing for Israel) and London Olympics gold medalist Olga Rypakova (25/1) from Kazakhstan complete the anticipated medal picture.
Women then take to the track with their 10000m final with Kenya’s Vivian Jepkemoi Cheruiyot the 2/1 favourite to regain that title she last won in another East Asian city, Daegu, in 2011.
Teammate Sally Jepkosgei Kipyego, who scooped Silver in South Korea four years ago, comes close behind for Gold this time at 5/2, and Ethiopian foe Gelete Burka is the same price.
American athlete Evan Jager (3/1) will be challenging the Kenyan contingent for Gold in the men’s 3000m Steeplechase, but it’s hard to look past even-money favourite Jairus Kipchoge Birech, as he’s the only one in the field to dip under eight minutes this season.
Birech’s three Diamond League victories in 2015 to date also make him attractive, but he has to beat three-time reigning world Steeplechase champ Ezekiel Kemboi (3/1), who has dominated this event at major championships since winning the first of two Olympic titles in 2004.
Conseslus Kipruto, the third Kenyan in this race, is also a threat to compatriot Birech at 5/1.
Day three is rounded off by the women’s 100m final, with the semis taking place earlier on. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is aiming to do another world sprint double, and is a firm odds-on 4/11 favourite to do just that for Jamaica.
Looking beyond her is tough, but US athlete Tori Bowie (6/1), Dutch runner Dafne Schippers (10/1) and popular Nigerian Blessing Okagbare (12/1) are also in the medal picture.
Coral’s top tip: Koneva is well worth a wager in the women’s triple jump should see replicate her best form this season when it matters most.