Usain Bolt: A living legend
Bolt is currently the fastest man in the world and holds the Olympic and World Records in the 100m. He shot to fame in 2008 by winning two gold medals at the Beijing Olympics, setting a 100m world record in the process and later beat his 2008 time of 9.69 seconds in 2009, which saw him lower the 100m to 9.58 seconds.
However, it has not been all plain sailing for the Jamaican superstar, who turns 30 on the day of the closing ceremony in Rio.
Apart form being disqualified because of a false start at the 2011 World Championships, Bolt has been recently fighting with injuries.
Being forced to pull out from the Jamaican national Olympic trials after the 100 meters semi-finals with a torn hamstring, it was debatable whether he would compete at the Rio de Janeiro Games, until he confirmed his participation via twitter on 10th July.
Having drifted from an opening price of 1.55 on 13th May to a current 1.666*, Bolt is set as Pinnacle’s odds-on-favourite for an Olympic showdown with American rival Justin Gatlin.
USA’s Justin Gatlin, who catapulted to world fame by winning gold at the 2004 Olympics in Athens and was subsequently suspended for four years due to a positive test for testosterone, won a bronze medal two places behind Bolt at the 2012 Olympics in London and is now eager to halt Bolt’s bid to win his third 100 m and 200 m gold medals.
The 34-year-old sprinter, whose participation in the Rio Olympics makes him the oldest US sprinter to reach the Olympic games since 1912, won the US Olympic Trials 100m finishing in 9.80 seconds, the fastest time in the world this year.
The betting markets are showing increasing confidence in Gatlin’s abilities to beat Bolt in 100m with his odds opening at 3.47 on 13th May only to shorten to a current 2.28*.
Women 100m rising stars
Things are less clear when it comes to the ladies, with no clear odds-on-favourite to win the 100m race. After Jamaica’s up-and-coming talent, Elaine Thompson, achieved a national record time of 10.70 at the trials, winning ahead of the World and Olympic champion teammate Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (with finishing time 10.93 seconds), she has become Pinnacle’s odds leader.
The signs are promising for the 23-year-old World Championhsips 200m silver medalist and World indoor 60m bronze medalist, who is currently favored to win the gold medal at 3.13*.
Second favorite at 3.42* comes Netherlands’ Dafne Schippers, who defended her 100m title at the European athletics championship in Amsterdam in a time of 10.91 in early July.
Currently priced at 4.76*, the 25-year-old, Torie Bowie, who was the world's fastest woman over 100m in 2014, comes third according to Pinnacle’s odds, followed by Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who won two consecutive Olympic 100 meters in 2008 and 2012 and who will try to make Olympic history in Rio by extending the record to three the night before fellow Jamaican Bolt will have his go for a golden treble.
Which sprinters will make it to Olympic glory? Get the best Olympic Athletic odds at Pinnacle.