Olympics Betting: Pears'-ing the curse
...of all the starters in this race, Sally Pearson is the best equipped to handle the pressure of the biggest stage.
The Puntathlete dares to dream when it comes to the women's 100m hurdle and Sally Pearson's chance of bucking the curse and taking home gold...
It's the curse that no Australian will dare mention this week.
It's the curse that stopped Gail Devers in 1992, halted Perdita Felicien in 2004 and accounted for American Lolo Jones during the last Olympics in Beijing.
What do these women all have in common?
They went into an Olympic 100m hurdles final as favourite for victory...and we all know who bares that burden in London.
I suspect that very curse is the only thing that can stop Sally Pearson from winning gold.
Pearson is trading @ Betfair odds of (1.48) to win the gold medal prior to the heats of the 100m hurdles, and the weight of expectation on Sally is now mirrored by the weight of money.
You can't control bad luck, but you can have control over your temperament, and there's no doubt that of all the starters in this race Sally Pearson is the best equipped to handle the pressure of the biggest stage. Her silver medal in Beijing proved that she not only handles the environment, but it also brings out her best.
Sally is clearly the best in the race, and all things being equal she will win a much anticipated gold medal.
If taking short odds isn't for you, or you believe in 'the curse', then you can do worse than have a nibble @ the Betfair odds of (5.70) for second-favourite Kellie Wells.
The American is an experienced competitor and will give Sally Pearson a race. Even @ Betfair odds of (1.52) to finish inside the top three she might be a better value bet than Sally is to win.
The men's 400m hurdles will be a sensational race between Javier Culson of Puerto Rica and Felix Sanchez of the Dominican Republic.
Betfair punters can't split these two men @ Betfair odds of (2.54) each.
I must admit, Sanchez is a favourite of the 'Puntathlete' and I was out of my seat when he ran a sizzling 47.25 to qualify fastest for the final.
While I was excited by that effort, I now have some concerns as to whether he can replicate that. Culson has had a smooth lead-up and is a consistent competitor. He will run to his best in the final.
You literally can take your pick here, but I am sticking with my man Sanchez.
I suspect his red hot lead-up run was designed to make a statement, and provided he has sufficient recovery, he can go quickly again and win the gold.
The electric PB run by teenager Steve Solomon to make the final of the 400m this morning was an endorsement of the national selectors courage including him at the expense of John Steffensen.
Shrewd judges have known for some time that Solomon can really run, based primarily on his relay performances.
I doubt he can beat some of his more credentialed rivals home, but the fact that someone so young has progressed to an Olympic final at his first attempt is a great omen for Rio in 2016.
He's long odds on Betfair @ (500.00), so it's the current world champion, 19-year-old Kirani James, who is the lock of the day.
He easily won his semi-final and cruised over the last 30 metres.
I can't see him losing.
If you fancy a patriotic investment, maybe have a small wager on Solomon to cause a huge upset at bolter's odds to win a medal.
Alana Boyd will add an Australian flavor to the women's pole vault final and isn't without a chance of winning a medal at juicy odds.
I am going to be bold here and suggest the punters take on champion vaulter, Yelena Isinbayeva.
The 30-year-old is seeking to make history by winning three-consecutive Olympic gold medals in this event, but I am not convinced she's adequately prepared for these games.
Yelena has shown a recent penchant for the high-life. She lives in Monaco and is a regular on their social scene.
When it comes down to it, is that a conducive environment to win an Olympic pole vault competition?
The champion might put egg on my face, but I can't take (1.67) for her to win again knowing she's undergone a huge lifestyle change away from the track.
You don't have to risk a great deal to lay at (1.67), especially in an unforgiving event like the pole vault.
Go on, be brave!