Elaine Thompson-Herah is one of a dominant trio in women's 100m, writes Jack Houghton, which means Dina Asher-Smith will be nowhere
"Thompson-Herah looked imperious in her heat and is the value call..."
Those who like lumping on short-priced favourites will no doubt have earmarked Sweden's Daniel Stahl (1.501/2) as a near certainty. After all, he's been the world's best thrower in each of the last five years, and has only been beaten three times in the last two seasons. He's also the reigning World Champion and qualified with ease for the final, throwing the qualifying mark on his first attempt.
He's not the certainty that those odds suggest, though. His World Championship win was tense and workmanlike, showing he's not immune to the nervousness of big competition, and there are plenty of others in the field who could push him, none more so than Kristjan Ceh (4.804/1), who is only 22 years old and yet has already thrown over 70m when achieving that mark in Finland in June.
There are also a host of other throwers capable of distances in the high 60s, meaning unless Stahl is on top form, he may lose this.
I was harsh on Dina Asher-Smith's hopes prior to this Olympics, and her odds of around 22.0021/1 (after an underwhelming performance in her heat) now more accurately reflect her chances of claiming gold in the women's 100m.
This event will be dominated by three sprinters: Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (2.206/5), Elaine Thompson-Herah (2.809/5), and Marie-Josee Ta Lou (8.007/1). And, given their performances in their respective heats, it's hard to see how one of the Jamaican duo who top the market will not win it.
Fraser-Pryce, remarkably, is only 34 years old, despite it feeling as if she's been around for ever. The nine-time world champion knows how to win major championships and showed she is in sparkling form when setting a personal best in Kingston in June.
The slight preference is for reigning Olympic champion Thompson-Herah, though, who has been slower to come to the boil this year, but got close to her personal best when beating her two main rivals here in early July. Thompson-Herah looked imperious in her heat and is the value call.
All eyes will be on prohibitive favourite Kaylee McKeown (1.558/15) in the women's 200m backstroke as the swimming programme ends this weekend. She has already won the 100m backstroke title and is the world's fastest over both events. It's worth noting, though, that the 100m wasn't the breeze for McKeown that many had predicted, and that she qualified fifth-fastest for the final here. She's one to oppose as the fatigue of her programme begins to take its toll.
*Odds correct at the time of writing
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Jack Houghton’s Tokyo 2020 P&L:
Staked (settled bets): 43.98