Brazil 2016: Women’s Track Preview
The Wolf previews all the women’s track action from the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
Women’s Heptathlon (Friday 10.35pm)
It appears as though that the Women’s Heptathlon is for Jessica Ennis-Hill to lose. She’s the current Olympic gold medallist and world champion and brings better form to Rio than her nearest rivals. Fellow Brit Katarina Johnson-Thompson is the second favourite in betting for the gold medal in Rio, yet could only manage a disappointing 28th at the 2015 World Champs in Beijing after three fouls in the long jump, while Canadian Brianne Theisen- Eaton’s best performances like at the World Indoor Championships in Portland have come when Ennis-Hill hasn’t been competing. The Wolf trusts the consistency of Ennis-Hill over the seven events (100 metre hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200 metres, long jump, javelin throw and 800 metres) and she should make it back-to-back Olympic gold medals.
Women’s 10,000m (Saturday 12.10am)
This shapes up as a battle between master and apprentice when current Olympic and World 10,000m champion Tirunesh Dibaba takes on fellow Ethiopian and star on the rise Almaz Ayana. Dibaba won back-to-back Olympic gold medals at Beijing and London but The Wolf feels her best could be behind her, especially after not competing in 2015. Meanwhile, Ayana’s success has primarily come over the 5000m journey, with success in the 2015 World Champs and the Diamond League event in Rome, she won’t have a problem running out a strong 10,000m. Her victory in Rome was the second fastest time by a woman over 5000m, second only to Dibaba. The Wolf respects the achievements of Dibaba, but Rio looks the perfect setting for Ayana to take the crown off her countrywoman.
Bet: Almaz Ayana ($1.36)
Women’s 100m (12.55am)
The Wolf feels that the form out of the 2015 World Championships will stack up well for the 100m in Rio. Two-time Olympic 100m champion and three-time world champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce looks ready to defend her title after defeating Dafne Schippers at the World Champs in Beijing. Schippers won the 100m European Championships with a time of 10.90, while Fraser Pryce’s winning World Champs time was 10.76. Fraser Pryce’s countrywoman Elaine Thompson is in the mix but her focus could be on the 200m after she was pulled from the 100m Jamaican National Championships. The Wolf is going with the experienced Fraser-Pryce at the odds.
Women’s 1500m (Saturday 9.30am)
It’s hard to go past world record holder and world champion Genzebe Dibaba in the 1500m. Her world record time of 3:50.07 in Monaco in July 2015 will be hard to beat and if she holds her World Champs form (4:08:09) she should get the job done over Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon (4:08:96) once again.
Women’s 3000m Steeplechase (Sat 11.05pm)
The steeplechase is still a relatively new event at the Olympics since its inception at the 2008 Beijing games. It appears a two-horse race between Ruth Jebet and Hyvin Kiyeng Jepkemoi who ran the second and third all-time fastest times respectively in the Prefontaine Classic event in Eugene, Oregon. 19-year-old Jebet could only manage 11th at the World Championships and the pressure of Rio could impact the youngster. For that reason alone, The Wolf is going with world champion Jepkemoi to turn her world champs gold into Olympic gold.
Women’s 400m (Sunday 12.00am)
This is another race in two between American Allyson Felix and the Bahamas’ Shaunae Miller. Felix recorded a world leading 49.26 to win the World Championships in Beijing, with Shaunae Miller back in second with a time of 49.67. Along with her World Champs success, Felix has experience on her side and is a two-time Olympic winner in the 4 x 400m relay. She’s the one to beat as reflected by the $1.70 quote.
Women’s Marathon (Sunday 10.30pm)
The marathon is always a lottery, but The Wolf has settled on Kenya’s Helah Kiprop. Kiprop won the silver medal at the World Championships in Beijing in one of the closest finishes you will ever see. Kiprop recorded a time of 2:27:36, while the gold medal winner Mare Dibaba had a time of 2:27:35, with Bahrain’s Eunice Kirwa back in third with a time of 2:27:39. It goes to show that in the marathon it doesn’t take much from gold to bronze. Kiprop has since gone on to win the Tokyo Marathon in February, followed by success in the half marathon in Zwolle in June. Her 2016 form brings her right into calculations in Rio.
Bet: Helah Kiprop ($4.50)
Women’s 200m (Monday 10.35pm)
Schippers recorded the third fastest 200m by a woman with her 21.63 at the World Championships in Beijing. It was also a new European record and makes her the woman to beat in Rio. Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson ran second to Schippers in Bejing with a time of 21.66 and looks to be her main threat again. The Wolf likes that Schippers can change gears when she wants as highlighted by her 22.36 semi-final time at the World Champs before exploding in the final with her blistering 21.63.
Women’s 400m Hurdles (Tuesday 10.30am)
London 2012 bronze medalist and two-time world champion Zuzana Hejnova has the runs on the board but the performance of Dalilah Muhammad at the US Olympic trials cannot be ignored. She recorded a time of 52.88 at the trials, while a time of 53.50 saw Hejnova take on the 2015 World Championships in Beijing. If the nerves of her first Olympics don’t rattle her, Muhammad is the woman to beat.
Women’s 5000m (Tuesday 10.30pm)
The only thing stopping the raging favourite Ayana from winning the 5000m is how much the 10,00om race takes out of her four days earlier. It’s impossible to knock her 5000m form after her success in the 2015 World Champs and the Diamond League event in Rome, where she recorded the second fastest time by a woman over 5000m. Fatigue is the only thing that stops her from doing the 5000m/10,000m double.
Bet: Almaz Ayana ($1.12)
Women’s 100m Hurdles (Wednesday 12.05am)
Brianna Rollins won the 2013 World Championships over Australia’s Sally Pearson with a time of 12.44 and hasn’t reached the lofty heights since. She could only manage 4th in the 2015 World Championships but has the ability to go faster with a personal best of 12.26 in 2013. She recorded a 12.34 at the US Olympic trials, finishing ahead of Team USA teammates Kristi Castlin and Nia Ali, who are the closest to her in betting. If she brings her best to Rio, she’ll blow away this field.
Women’s 800m (Wednesday 11.55pm)
Semnya is the red-hot favourite for the 800m and looks well placed to improve on her silver medal from London 2012. She has recorded three of the four fastest times this year and has four Diamond League titles to go with her African title. This could be a space job!
Women’s 4 x 100m Relay (Friday 12.20am)
The 4 x 100m relay is a race in two between the World Champions Jamaica, who have won the last two world championships, and the current Olympic champions, Team USA. Jamaica has finished ahead of the USA in the last two world championships, but The Wolf is sticking with Team USA ,who have proven it on the Olympics stage and represent better value at $2.10 opposed to the $1.65 for Jamaica.
Bet: USA ($2.10)
Women’s 20km Walk (Saturday 3.30am)
World champion Liu Hong will be tough to topple here, despite serving a one-month ban in June after testing positive to Higenamine. She set the world record of 1:24:38 in 2015 in the Spanish Leg of the 2015 IAAF Race Walking Challenge and is unbeaten since March 2015. She’s short for a reason.
Bet: Liu Hong ($1.42)
Don’t forget to check out our full coverage of the Olympic Games.