Olympic Track 2012: 100-Meter Sprint Gold-Medal Odds for Top 5 Favorites
The men's 100-meter sprint is one of the most highly-anticipated and exciting track and field events in the Olympics, and this year there are five men who have a legitimate chance to win the gold medal.
Usain Bolt is the defending champion, but he'll have to fend off the likes of Yohan Blake, Tyson Gay, Asafa Powell and Justin Gatlin to win another gold medal and maintain his title as the fastest man in the world.
All five men ran well in the semifinals, though it's worth pointing out that Bolt didn't even have to try to post his time of 9.87 seconds. He literally jogged after about two-thirds of the way through his heat.
With that in mind, here are the gold-medal odds for each of these five men.
Asafa Powell, Jamaica
Odds Asafa Powell Wins the Gold: 8/1
Powell was the world-record holder before Usain Bolt and Tyson Gay came on to the scene. He has broken the 10-second barrier more than any other sprinter in the history of track and field, and though he isn't as fast as he used to be, he's still capable of posting a low time.
In Round 1, Powell posted a respectable time of 10.04 seconds—faster than the one Usain Bolt posted. But, as we all know from watching the women's 100-meter sprint, many of the top sprinters do just enough to get into the finals so they can conserve their energy.
Powell posted a time of 9.94 in the semifinals to get into the final, though he had a few nervous moments after he failed to automatically qualify after finishing third in his heat.
Justin Gatlin, USA
Odds Justin Gatlin Wins the Gold: 6/1
Most sprinters slow down as they creep towards the age of 30, but Gatlin has gotten better with age.
At the Olympic trials, Gatlin posted his fastest time ever—a time of 9.80 seconds. He's 30 years old, and according to NBCOlympics.com, he's now the fastest man over 30 in the history of the sport. Gatlin was also one of two runners to post a sub-10-second time in Round 1.
Only two runners, Yohan Blake and Usain Bolt, have run faster than that this year.
Gatlin has been impressive so far during Round 1 and the semifinals, posting times of 9.97 and 9.82.
That said, Gatlin is still a dark horse to win the gold this year.
Yohan Blake, Jamaica
Odds Yohan Blake Wins the Gold: 3/1
Blake is shooting for three gold medals in 2012, just like Usain Bolt did in 2008, according to The Guardian.
He may well accomplish the feat, too. He's the only sprinter besides Bolt to post a time under 9.80 seconds this year, and his time was one-hundredth of a second faster than Bolt's.
He was fast in the semifinals of the Olympics, too, posting a solid time of 9.85.
As a side, I've always been fascinated by how Blake never seems look like he's exerting himself out there on the track. He's one smooth operator.
Tyson Gay, USA
Odds Tyson Gay Wins the Gold: 3/1
Gay is the only sprinter in history besides Usain Bolt to crack the 9.70-second barrier in the 100-meter sprint.
He's also a fierce competitor, as we've seen so many times in the past. Even when he gets off to sub-par starts, he has the ability to surge to the finish line unlike any other sprinter in the world.
Gay posted a respectable time of 9.90 in the semifinals on Saturday, and he's surely capable of a better time than that in the final.
He'll be hard-pressed to hold off Bolt, though, if the 2008 gold medal winner is at the top of his game.
Usain Bolt, Jamaica
Odds Usain Bolt Wins the Gold: 2/1
Bolt is the best sprinter the world has ever seen. Until someone defeats him in the Olympics, he's going to hold onto his crown as the fastest man in the world.
It's not like he's shown signs of slowing down, either. Bolt posted a time of 9.76 seconds earlier this year, and we all know he's capable of going even faster.
Bolt also has a knack for stepping up his game when the stakes are highest, and I'll be stunned if he's not standing atop the podium when the men's 100-meter sprint is finished.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!