Last year at the London Olympics, an injury-plagued United States squad failed to win gold in the men's 4x400m relay, an event which they had dominated for the better part of six decades. They are, however, well poised to make amends for last year's disappointment, having posted a world-leading time in Thursday's heats, despite resting their top 400m runners LaShawn Merritt and Tim McQuay.
This performance has led to the odds on them winning gold, being reduced from $1.15 all the way to $1.02. Jamaica also looked impressive in winning their heat but have seen their odds increase from $12.00 to $15.00. Could an upset be on the cards in the final?
It's tough to envision this, especially when Merritt and McQuay join the USA team for the final.
Not to be forgotten are the Trinidadians (second in their heat behind the USA), listed at odds of $10 and Russia, who won their heat, listed in the "Any Other" betting category at odds of $12. The Bahamas, who claimed the surprise gold at the Olympics last year, entered the championships at odds of $6, but failed to advance to the final, finishing fourth in their heat.
Women's 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce cemented her place as 200m betting favourite with wins in her heat and semi-final on Thursday. The "Pocket Rocket" has seen her odds to win gold drop even further, from $2.50 to $2.00, while odds on the pre-Championship favourite, American Allyson Felix, have also dropped from $2.30 to $2.00 heading into Friday's final. It seems to be a two-horse race but could either of the African superstars, Blessing Okagbare at odds of $8.50 or the Ivory Coast's Murielle Ahoure at odds of $10.00, upset the apple cart and produce some handsome payouts for those punters willing to take a chance?
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