London 2012 Olympics Track and Field Odds
Men’s 100m and 200m
The big name in these two men’s races, the 100m and 200m, will be Usain Bolt. He is the favorite in the 100m race with odds at 5/6 and in the 200m race at 4/7. Except for a disqualification at the Worlds last year, Bolt has won 13 consecutive 100m races and 15 consecutive 200m races. But Bolt has reportedly been fighting off a tight hamstring as of late and there is a new challenger in his shadow. This man’s name is Yohan Blake. Blake, from Jamaica like Bolt, won last year’s world championship and is the current “world’s fastest man.” Then during the Jamaican trials Blake beat Bolt in both the 100m and 200m races. In fact, the two are training partners; both receiving the tutelage of sprint coach Glen Mills. Blake works hard when Bolt does not, Blake ran down a Bolt lead in the Jamaican 200m to take the race. There are good reasons to think Blake could beat Bolt’s amazing raw talent in London 2012. Blake is at 11/8 for the 100m and 13/8 for the 200m.
There is also something new this year that’s going to be a big deal. At these London 2012 games there will be a zero-tolerance policy on false starts. Rather than letting the first false start be charged to the field, the perpetrator will be immediately disqualified. This is the same rule that was applied at the 2011 World Championships in South Korea in which Usain Bolt was eliminated from the 100m finals after a false start. Moreover, at the Olympics athletes will be lined up on computerized blocks which measure acute changes in pressure to catch false starts. All athletes are sure to be timid this summer but at least they are all subject to the same rules.
Interestingly, the same man who was firing the starter gun in South Korea in 2011 when Bolt was eliminated in the 100m race will be the starter for the London 2012 race.
Men’s 4x100 and 4x400 Relay
Jamaica has won the last three major 4x100m men’s relays, thus they are favored to win with odds at 4/9. The US men (11/4) will have difficulty breaking this streak if Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake are healthy and running in the relay. However, American sprinters set the world record this year in the 4x100m making them more competitive than the odds show. The 4x400m relay is the opposite story where the USA is dominate with 1/6 odds while Jamaica has odds at 8/1. There has been speculation that Bolt will enter the 4x400 for the Jamaicans but this will only lessen the US advantage and not eliminate it.