Olympics Betting: The Russians are coming
Tatyana Chernova, the 6ft 2ins blonde Russian...is arriving in London in apparently excellent form.
It feels a bit disloyal suggesting that backing Jessica Ennis to win gold is not a good bet. She's been the poster girl for Team GB for the last couple of years, and that hasn't changed now the Olympics are finally a few days away.
When you look at the billboards all around the complex in Stratford you start to get a feeling for exactly how much will be resting on her slim shoulders over the next couple of weeks.
Ennis, simply, is everywhere, smiling down from electronic displays, her lean and beautifully toned figure a superb example to encourage girls to get into athletics. And when the Olympic track and field opens for business in the giant stadium on August 3, she will be the girl at the centre of the spotlight.
Mark Cavendish has already embraced the idea that he will be the first British Olympian to go for gold as the Games get under way. That will be across 250 gruelling kilometres of the men's road race, ending up in The Mall, this Saturday. But in the eyes of many that represents just a warm-up event - it is the track and field which is the true arena for Olympic endeavour and it will be Ennis who commences competition in the heptathlon on the first day.
Jessica is (1.93) favourite to land Britain's first athletics gold...so no pressure there then!
And just to make the task more difficult, there are no shortage of top names who have been queuing up to have a snipe at her.
Fellow heptathlete Kelly Sotherton has warned: "Jess is in a great position but the flipside is the weight of having 60 million people expecting you to win a gold. Silver will be considered a failure."
And at the weekend former triple jump gold medallist Jonathan Edwards unkindly put the boot in too, delivering the verdict that Jess had put her dreams at risk by doing too many commercial deals, and giving too much energy to satisfying her sponsors' demands for appearances.
He picked up on her failure at the World Championships in Daegu, when the javelin event went spectacularly wrong, as evidence that she buckled under pressure. The World Indoor Championships in March were also a disappointment.
Maybe it's a bet to steer clear of.
But if it was a sportswoman from any other country you'd have to admit there is no value in an odds-on price.
Not only is Jessica under immense pressure, but Tatyana Chernova, the 6ft 2ins blonde Russian girl who beat her at the world championships, is arriving in London in apparently excellent form. She is currently (3.15) second favourite in the betting - while Ukrainian Natalya Dobrynska, the reigning Olympic champion after Jessica missed Beijing through injury, looks a tempting price at (8.0)
Both of those girls can come and enjoy competing without fear.
For Jessica, with those giant posters looking down and the rest of the team looking for her to lead the way, there is massive pressure. If she does come up trumps and set the standard she would deserve a platinum medal, never mind a gold.
Five things you might not know about Tatyana Chernova...
1. Born January 1988 in the Southern Russian city of Krasnodar, her mum Lyudmila Chernova had been a member of the Soviet Union's victorious 1980 4x400m relay squad in the Moscow Games.
2. Her dad Sergey Chernov was also a successful decathlete who became a top coach, and guided Tatyana's early career.
3. At 17 she won the world youth championships a few weeks after setting a world age group record of 5,991 points.
4. Her first major senior medal was a bronze at the 2008 Olympics - she was upgraded from fourth after Lyudmyla Blonska was disqualified for doping.
5. Her coach now is Vladimir Kudryavtsev, who guided 2004 Olympic bronze medallist long jumper Tatyana Kotova.