Rio 2016: Back Team GB to bring back over 23.5 Gold Medals
The Betfair Sportsbook have set the over/under number for Gold medals at 23.5 and Neil Monnery investigates whether you should back the Brits to exceed that number...
"It could be Alistair or it could be Jonny. The Brownlee brothers finished in gold and bronze in London and it would've been gold and silver had it not been for a penalty against the younger brother."
With 19 Golds already on the medal table (with Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark assured of making that 20 should they complete the final race in the women's 470) we need to identify four events where we could take top spot on the podium to get over the 23.5 mark. Let's start with the slam dunk...
Mo Farah - Men's 5,000m
Mo is the red-hot favourite. He got tripped up and still won the 10,000m earlier in the event and at [1.24] on the exchange, the punters are backing him extremely strongly to repeat that performance. I could waffle on with other runners who could challenge him but what is the point? We all expect him to win because he has flat out dominated for the past five years. He's not a short favourite because of home grown loyalty. Chalk this one up as #21.
Nicola Adams - Women's fly - 51kg
The defending champion is already assured of a medal having made it to the semi-final. She fights Ren Cancan on Thursday for the right to get to the gold medal match and at [1.55] on the exchange, she's heavily favoured to win end up standing on top of the podium. Since London 2012 she hasn't lost in a major competition. I'm not as sure of victory as I am for Mo but I think she's going to do it.
Brownlee Brothers - Men's triathlon
The beauty of this is we have a pair of world-class athletes on our side. It could be Alistair or it could be Jonny. The Brownlee brothers finished in gold and bronze in London and it would've been gold and silver had it not been for a penalty against the younger brother. The defending champion is odds-on at [1.86] to repeat and his brother is the third favourite. In all honesty as long as Mario Mola doesn't get in the way, one of them should win. My colleague Ralph Ellis thinks it is time for little brother Jonny to step up but for me, I don't care which one comes through, I just want another round of God Save The Queen!
Jade Jones - Taekwondo - up to 57kg
Ah, the woman who I once matched with on Tinder (true story) but alas it was just to help raise the important issue of organ donation and not that she thought I was pretty. Jade is another defending Olympic champion (like everyone above) but she is the first who isn't odds-on. She does start as the [2.26] favourite and has a good record in recent competition. A shock defeat in the quarter-finals of the World Championships last year can be in part attributed to a crash of the electronic scoring system during the bout. I'm not all-in on a gold here but she has every chance.
Joseph Joyce - Men's 91kg+
Joe Joyce has advanced to the semi-final stage of the big boys' boxing and is favourite to reign victorious, currently trading at [2.56] on the exchange. He has long been talked about as a potential champion and won gold at the Commonwealth Games. He shouldn't be considered a slam dunk gold but he is very much in the running.
Jamie Cooke - Men's Modern Pentathlon
Yes, the modern pentathlon. I know exactly what that is. I'm sure we all do. However, on the off chance that you don't, it is pistol shooting, épée fencing, 200m freestyle swimming, show jumping and a 3.2km cross-country run. His recent improvement in the fencing discipline has seen him fly up the world rankings and he reached top spot in June. You can back him at [4.9] for victory on the exchange.
They are the six events where we have the favourite. We need four to win to clear the 23.5 mark but we do have other athletes who are not ludicrous picks to take gold. Tom Daley still has to go in the individual 10m diving competition. He's not expected to win but he's in good form and should either of the heavily favoured Chinese pair falter, he can be there to pick up the pieces.
Whilst the Brownlee brothers are expected to contest the gold medal, over in the women's event Helen Jenkins is in the mix for the title as well. She was the final member of the team to qualify but will go off as third favourite like Tom Daley above. Having won big races in the past, don't put it past her to pull off the shocker.
Samantha Murray will go in the women's modern pentathlon and it isn't beyond the realm of possibility that she wins. Also badminton still has Rajiv Ouseph in the men's singles quarter-finals.
The number has been set at 23.5 and I'd back that even if it was 24.5. I think 25 or 26 will be the final number of gold medals Team GB come away from Rio with this year.