As Tokyo 2020 enters its second week, the action switches to the Olympic Stadium with the Athletics program having got under way on Friday.
Even without fan attendance, the Blue riband races of the 100m will shape the first weekend of competition, and if anything, the women’s sprint race could draw greater interest than the men’s, the final taking place as it does on the second day of the schedule, for the first time.
Dina Asher-Smith remains Team GB’s biggest hope of Olympic gold on the track, and on paper, there is little to separate the Bromley Harrier and her perennial rival, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.
With the Jamaican currently evens to win her first Olympic 100m crown, her compatriot and defending champion Elaine Thompson-Herah however, has grown throughout the season. The two are evens and 5/2 for gold respectively, both with Betway.
But could Tokyo 2020 yet be Asher-Smith’s moment? A price of 11/2 with UniBet still looks very interesting. Her best chance however, could be in the 200m as defending world champion from Doha two years ago. Alas, Shaunae Miller-Uibo will be hard to beat having switched from the 400m, whilst American Gabby Thomas is making a late move for glory also. Nevertheless, the Briton is 9/2 – again with UniBet – to win 200m gold.
In the men’s 100m meanwhile, Team USA look well placed to regain The Fastest Man in the World crown, with Trayvon Bromell – like Fraser-Pryce – evens with SkyBet, MansionBet and Betfair. Moreover, If you fancy doubling up over both the men’s and women’s finals, a Fraser-Pryce-Bromell double with Bet365 will treble your money at 2/1.
Two of the other bigger duels on the track in Tokyo take place over 400m hurdles, for both the men and women. Having finally broken the world record in his own back yard in Oslo earlier this season, Norway’s Karsten Warholm is the strong favourite in his first Olympics at 4/9 Willian Hill or 2/5 with MansionBet.
World champ since 2017, Warholm however, will be pushed by American Rai Benjamin who has slowly hit form since the US trials. Odds of 5/2 accordingly are worth a look, in what will likely be sweltering conditions come race night.
In the women’s race, Sydney McClaughlin has become one of the stars of US track and field and will go head-to-head with compatriot and rival Dalilah Muhammad. The two have pushed each other over the past seasons, but as defending champion from Rio, the latter will not be giving her crown away lightly.
Whilst McClaughlin is 1/2 favourite with BetVictor, Muhammad is 3/1 with UniBet and the final could be one of Tokyo’s best races.
Finally, the US team’s other star attraction, Noah Lyles, is expected to romp home in the 200m despite a year of disruption due to Covid, and in his first Games, is 8/11 with SkyBet for victory.