Rio Olympics 2016 Athletics Betting: Kovacs daily lay; Cunningham daily play

Vashti Cunningham can improve on her best to take gold in Rio
Vashti Cunningham can improve on her best to take gold in Rio
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Joe Kovacs should be favourite for the shot put, but not at odds-on, writes Jack Houghton, and Vashti Cunningham is a breath of fresh air in the women's high jump...


"Looking down the season best lists in the women's high jump in recent years is like calling a register at an old people's home..."

Daily Lay: Joe Kovacs in Men's Shot Put at [1.80]

Joe Kovacs should be favourite for this. After all, he's thrown further than anyone else this year, something he's managed in the last two seasons as well, and he won the world title in Beijing last year. He's also won three competitions on the grand prix circuit. He's lost two as well, though, and is only 2cm ahead of his countryman Ryan Crouser in terms of a season's best, who beat him last month in Eugene.

Furthermore, there are a host of shot putters in this field who have shown themselves capable of getting very close to Kovacs' best, especially if you include their best form from a few season's ago - athletes like Christian Cantwell and Ryan Whiting. The biggest opposition may come from David Storl, though, who, despite being only 26, is already a double world champion and Olympic silver medallist. If he can find his best in this competition, Kovacs will be in trouble.


Daily Play: Vashti Cunningham in Women's High Jump at [6.40]

Looking down the season best lists in the women's high jump in recent years is like calling a register at an old people's home: they all seem to have their best years behind them and, in the case of Anna Chicherova, they aren't quite sure what drugs they have in their system.

In a very open field, Vashti Cunningham - only 18-years-old and already a world indoor champion - is a paediatric oddity, and a very talented one to boot. If she can clear 2.00m - which on the basis of her indoor personal best of 1.99 must be possible - then that could well be enough to win it: especially as the field has been depleted of some of its usual contenders in recent weeks.


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