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RIO OLYMPICS - ATHLETICS - SECOND DAY OF COMPETITION

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On the second day of athletics in Rio the fates of Olympic medals will be decided in the men's discus throw, long jump and in what promises to be a extremely entertaining 10 000m final. The entertainment doesn't stop until the small hours of the night, as the second day culminates with the women's 100m final!

Beneath each preview you can find the best results this season from the athletes appearing in the Olympics. Along with the season's bests we also cover the best betting odds among the athletes most likely to win a medal.

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2nd day of competition - 13-14.8.

!!! All times are UK times!

Morning session:

14:50 MEN'S DISCUS THROW FINAL

 

The men's discus final looks to be an extremely tightly contested affair, as only 13 centimetres separate the best athlete from the fourth best this season. The biggest favourite to win is this season's leading man, Poland's Piotr Malachowski. Malachowski bitterly failed at the 2012 Olympics in London, as he eventually succumbed to fifth place. 

Malachowski's consistency is what separates him from the rest of the pack, as the Polish giant has thrown over 68 metres five times this season. The others to throw over that threshold this season have only achieved it once. After the disappointing Olympics, Malachowski has grabbed gold in both the world- and European championships, so the only thing missing from his trophy cabinet is the Olympic gold medal.

The Harting brothers of Christoph and Robert are without a doubt Malachowski's biggest challengers. Big brother Robert is the more consistent out of the two, as the experienced major competition visitor has thrown three times over 66 metres. Robert is also the reigning Olympic champion, and the German veteran won't be giving up his title without a fight.

Fourth in this season's standings, Fedrick Dacres does have the potential of springing a surprise, although the 68.02 he threw in April does seem like a bit of a lucky break, as the Jamaican has failed to through over 64 metres since. Both Philip Milanov and Spain's Lois Maikel Martinez can be ranked above him, as both men have reached over 65 metres regularly this season.

Men's discus medal hopefuls in Rio and their odds:

Athletes listed in order of their season's best.

 

Athlete

Season's Best

Odds & Betting Site

To win gold

Odds & Betting Site
To win a medal

1.

Piotr Malachowski (POL)

68.15

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Christoph Harting (GER)

68.06

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Robert Harting (GER)

68.04 

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Fedrick Dacres (JAM)

68.02

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Philip Milanov (BEL)

67.26

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Lois Maikel Martínez (ESP)

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Evening session: 


00:50 Men's Long Jump Final

The reigning European, world and Olympic champion Greg Rutherford is arguably the biggest favourite to win gold in Rio, although the Brit hasn't quite reached the heights of previous seasons in terms of results. Rutherford's season's best of 8.31 is only enough for equal seventh place in this season's world rankings.

Number one this year, Jarrion Lawson broke the bank in early July with a jump of 8.58 metres. However, that jump was only barely legal in terms of wind assistance, and the American's general level has been significantly worse. In the competition that brought his record jump he also managed 8.32 and 8.20, although both of those jumps had too much wind behind them. 

Sweden's Michael Tornéus won silver in the European championships in Amsterdam, and soon after got a season's best of 8.44. Tornéus is more than capable of causing an upset. South Africa's Rushwal Samaai jumped his season's best of 8.38 as early as May, but the African also has a wind-assisted 8.40 from the end of June.

Meanwhile, the American Mike Hartfield has struggled for consistency, as he has only been a tad over 8 metres on average after his wind-assisted jump of 8.39 in June. Australia's Fabrice Lapierre could be a more potent candidate for a medal, as the Aussie has jumped between 8.18-8.31 in his last five competitions.

Another interesting name is Jeffrey Henderson, who completely failed at last year's world championships. The American's season's best is only 8.19 (19th best this year), but with a 2.9 wind assisting him he managed an astounding jump of 8.59 at the start of July.

Medal hopefuls in the men's long jump and their best odds:

 

Athlete

Season's Best

Odds & Betting Site
To win gold

Odds & Betting Site
To win a medal

1.

Jarrion Lawson (USA)

8.54

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Michael Tornéus (SWE)

8.44 [NR]

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5.

Rushwal Samaai (RSA)

8.38

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6.

Mike Harfield (USA)

8.34

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7.

Fabrice Lapierre (AUS)

8.31

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Greg Rutherford (GBR)

8.31

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Jeffrey Henderson (USA)

8.19

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01:55 Men's 10 000m Final

The men's 10 000m final will most likely be a duel between Team GB's Mo Farah and the Ehtiopians. Four years ago in London Farah took gold in both the 5000m and the 10 000m, and the Brit is aiming to duplicate that achievement in Rio. Farah skipped the European championships in Amsterdam to focus entirely on the Olympics, and he has also competed rather scarcely all season. However, Farah's superiority on the 10 000m can be summed up easily, as he hasn't lost a race in over five years!

Recently Farah has found new and upcoming challengers from Ethiopia. At 22 years of age, Yigrem Demelash is coming to Rio as the leading man this season, as the youngster improved his record by six seconds in the Olympic qualifiers in his homeland. Three years older than his compatriot, Tamirat Tola might be more familiar from cross country, but this year he has the fourth and fifth fastest times on the 10k. Ethiopia's final name in their strong contingent is only 18-year old Abadi Hadis, whose season's best is just half a second slower than Tola's.

The best Kenyan's this year are nowhere to be found in the starting lists of the Olympic 10 000 metres. Two-time world championships bronze medalist Paul Tanui and the silver medalist from last year's world championships Geoffrey Kipsang Kamworor are the strongest challengers to break the Ethiopia-Farax axis. Kamworor is yet to run a competitive 10k this season, but last season's he ran a staggering time of 26:52.65.

Eritrea's Zersenay Tadese is also capable of reaching the podium if he manages to perform at his best.

Medal hopefuls in the men's 10 000 metres and their best betting odds:

 

Athlete

Season's Best

Odds & Betting Site
To win gold

Odds & Betting Site
To win a medal

1.

Yigrem Demelash (ETH)

26:51.11

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Mohamed Farah (GBR)

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Tamirat Tola (ETH)

26:57.33

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Abadi Hadis (ETH)

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Zersenay Tadese (ERI)

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Paul Tanui (KEN)

27:22.28

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02:35 Women's 100m Final

Nothing will be held back in the women's 100 metres. The final promises to be a cracker, as all the leading ladies this season are barely separated in their season's bests. The Dutch sprinter Dafne Schippers took home the cold in her home European championships earlier this summer, and she has even billed as the favourite before the games. This is slightly surprising, given that her season's best is only good enough for sixth place in this season's standings.

The reigning world- and Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is behind Schippers in eighth, but although the duo are far behind the rest in terms of their season's bests, they will still surely be strongly in contention for a medal. Fraser-Pryce in particular has been astounding in recent major competitions.

Another Jamaican, Elaine Thompson is world number one this season due to her fantastic time of 10.70 seconds. The 24-year old came second in the 200 metres at last year's wolrd championships, but she is yet to achieve any major success over the 100 metres. The same applies to English Gardner, who is currently second in this season's rankings.

Out of the other ladies the strongest name is USA's Tori Bowie, whose recent results have been stronger than those of the two women above her in this season's results, Ahouré and Bartoletta. Her average performance is in fact the best among the whole group! 

The five best results and their average of the best women over the 100m this season:

Bowie: 10.874 (10.78, 10.74*, 10.91, 11.03, 10.91)

Gardner: 10.884 (10.74, 10.74*, 10.90, 11.02, 11.02)

Thompson: 10.964 (10.70, 10.85, 11.38, 10.87, 11.02)

Bartoletta: 10.966 (11.02*, 11.21, 10.78, 10.79*, 11.03)

Ahouré: 11.014 (10.99, 11.08, 11.42, 10.78, 10.80*)

Schippers: 11.024 (10.94, 10.90, 10.96, 11.09, 11.23)

Fraser-Pryce: 11.078 (11.06, 11.03, 11.25, 10.93, 11.12)

* = result had a wind assist of over 2,0. 

Medal hopefuls in the women's 100m and their best odds:

 

Athlete

Season's Best

Odds & Betting Site
To win gold

Odds & Betting Site
To win a medal

1.

Elaine Thompson (JAM)

10.43

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English Gardner (USA)

10.74

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3.

Murielle Ahouré (CIV)

10.78

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Tianna Bartoletta (USA)

10.78

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Tori Bowie (USA)

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Dafne Schippers (NED)

10.83

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Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (JAM)

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Christiania Williams (JAM)

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