Rio Olympics 2016 Athletics Betting: Mo Farah daily lay; Bishop daily play
On Day 10 of the athletics at the Olympics, Mo Farah has a bunch of whippersnappers keen to stop his attempt at an Olympic double-double, writes Jack Houghton, and Caster Semenya might not be the certainty that some think...
"The 5,000m was always going to be the most difficult of the two medals for Farah: not only because of the fatigue he would be feeling after his 10,000m exploits and having to qualify through the heats, but also because of the higher quality field..."
Daily Lay: Mo Farah at [1.28] in Men's 5,000m
It would be a remarkable achievement if Farah managed to complete the Olympic double-double and, as a fan of the sport, I'd like to see him do it. He's certainly the most likely winner and should be favourite for the final at around 1.30am UK time on Sunday morning. As a punter, though, you can't let emotion get in the way of good sense and, as much as Farah is the most likely winner, the task he faces is much more difficult than his odds imply.
The 5,000m was always going to be the most difficult of the two medals: not only because of the fatigue Farah would be feeling after his 10,000m exploits and having to qualify through the heats, but also because of the higher quality field. Of particular danger to Farah are a number of younger athletes who do not represent the usual faces that he's been dispatching in these finals in recent years. The likes of Mohammed Ahmed, Joshua Cheptegei, and Muktar Edris are all young and have the potential to push Farah.
Or his experience may scare them, of course. They might be content to let him dictate affairs and run a fast last lap off a comfortable pace, in which case he'll win. But [1.28] is a short price when there are no guarantees. It will be heartbreaking to see him lose, but an upset may be on the cards here.
Daily Play: Melissa Bishop in Women's 800m at [44.0]
Caster Semenya has remained unbeaten so far this season and will be a deserving winner if she is able to win gold - not least because of the turmoil she has been through in the last few years. Her odds of [1.12] are prohibitively short, though, and probably do not account for the pressure she will feel to deliver what everyone expects, or the fact that a lot of athletes, although not able to beat Semenya this season, have nonetheless been running very fast times. Semenya won't have to be much below her best to get beaten here.
The runner most likely to capitalise on an under-par Semenya is Melissa Bishop. Second in the World Championships last year and third on the season-best lists coming into Rio, she has become increasingly consistent in recent seasons and, apart from Semenya, looked the most comfortable in qualifying. Some may prefer to support her at around [3.00] in the Top 3 market, but I'll be having a bigger punt on her taking gold.