AFTER what appears an eternity, but is actually only a seven year wait, the London Olympics is here, actually having started ahead of tomorrow’s Opening Ceremony, with women’s football yesterday.
In the men’s football, Brazil (6/4 from 2/1 at BetVictor) are many people’s banker of the Games especially after how they played in the 2-0 defeat of Great Britain at Middlesbrough last Friday.
The only realistic alternatives to Brazil are Spain (12/5) and Uruguay (7/1) with Britain out to 11s but Wembley will surely be all about Brazil in the final.
We are asking punters how many gold medals they think Team GB will get at London 2012. It is hard to know how many medals (any colour) we will pick up on the water or in shooting where we are historically very strong but I would be surprised if we didn’t pick up more than 63.
Every British participant is sure to be trained to the day and whilst the occasion will, undoubtedly, get to some, the partisan home crowd will carry many to personal bests although few are likely to be in the Blue Riband events.
How many Gold Medals will Team GB win? 23 or more - Evens; 22 or fewer - 8/11. Total GB Medals (any colour): 62 or fewer - 4/5; 63 or more - 10/11. The United States are 4/11 to head the medal table with China 2s, Russia 20s with GB and Australia 66s.
The USA Basketball squad are not quite as strong as the Dream Team of Barcelona in 1992 but it is a quite magnificent team and I am so envious of anyone fortunate enough to have a seat to watch Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Kevin Durant et al.
The Golden Girl of British athletics Jessica Ennis is 8/11 to win Gold in the women’s Heptathlon with her big rival Russia’s Tatyana Chernova 2/1 and Nataliya Dobrynska 6s; the competition starts with the 100m Hurdles on Friday August 3 and will conclude on Saturday evening (prime-time TV viewing time) with the 800 metres.
Ed Clancy is 4/1 to land Gold in the Men’s Omnium behind Australian Glenn O’Shea. The event, on debut in London, is cycling’s equivalent of the heptathlon with six cycling events including a Time Trial and 4000 metres individual pursuit.
Doncaster’s Sarah Stevenson is 4/1 to land Gold in the Women’s 67kg Taekwondo event having won bronze four years ago when she became the first British Olympic medallist in the sport.
On the water Rotherham’s Paul Goodison, a Beijing gold medallist, is 4/1 behind odds-on favourite Tom Slingsby (8/11) in the Men’s Laser.
The Olympic 100 Metres gold medallist can rightly call himself the fastest man on the planet.
Usain Bolt is defending his Olympic crown and we have a number of special markets around “Lightning” Bolt - win 100 Metre Gold Medal 8/11; break his 100m World Record 3/1; win gold in 100m, 200m and sprint relay 9/4; a false start in 100m Final 10/1; win the 100 & 200m Golds 6/4; win the 200m Gold Medal 8/15
The betting suggests if Bolt is vulnerable it will the 100m but I suggest his main rival and fellow Jamaican Yohan Blake will give him a real race in the 200m.
A double on Rebecca Adlington (400m freestyle) and Mark Cavendish (Road Race) to both win gold is 10/1. Mo Farah is 11/2 to win both 5,000 and 10,000 metres and that would be, in my humble opinion, the greatest individual performance by a British athlete at any single Olympic games.