Golden boy Farah set for glorious Olympic double

AFTER Mo Farah’s career defining effort sealed 10,000m gold last weekend, the Briton stands on the verge of becoming a double Olympic champion when he competes in the 5,000m final tomorrow night.

Farah, the reigning world and European title holder at that distance, is 13/8 favourite with Coral and as short as 3/10 to secure a podium place. No matter what happens, he’s guaranteed a better result than four years ago, when he failed to make the final in Beijing altogether.

The main threat to the 29-year-old’s chances is set to come from Dejen Gebremeskel, who is second-favourite at 7/4 with Coral. The Ethiopian athlete is the quickest in the world this year, but his time of 12:46.81 seconds achieved in Paris just last month is unlikely to trouble the world record mark of 12:37.35 seconds, set by Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele in 2004. Gebremeskel’s time is still 10 seconds better than Farah’s best in 2012 and the 22-year-old was also the fastest in Wednesday’s qualifying heats.

However, there has been a distinct advantage enjoyed by Team GB at these Games, with the huge level of home support pushing the squad to remarkable achievements – just as Farah showed in his first event, meaning he looks worth backing.

Spread bettors can trade Farah’s medal index spread at 23-26 with Sporting Index, where gold is worth 50 points, silver 25, bronze 10 and any other finish 0, and a small buy is advised.

Outside of the fancied pair, former world champion Bernard Lagat is third in the betting but his form hasn’t been great this season. Meanwhile, fellow American and 25/1 shot Galen Rupp will be looking for another medal after taking silver behind Farah in the 10,000m.

Before then, a who’s who of the planet’s fastest men will converge on the Olympic Stadium for tomorrow night’s 4x100m relay final.

Jamaica are red hot favourites, at 2/5 with William Hill, after Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake secured a one-two in the 100m final.

They will, though, be forced to defend their Olympic title without Asafa Powell, who ran the last leg in Beijing.

Powell limped out of the 100m final with a thigh injury, meaning that the likely foursome will be Bolt, Blake, Nesta Carter and Michael Frater – the same line-up that holds the world record, which they set 12 months ago.

As we have seen so many times in the past, the baton changes can cause all sorts of problems, giving hope for an upset.

USA are comfortable second favourites ahead of today’s heats. Although Jamaica took the major honours in the 100m, the US were well represented in the final, with Justin Gatlin, Tyson Gay and Ryan Bailey filling positions three to five respectively.

With no value in the Jamaicans, it could be worth taking them on with the Americans, at 9/4 with Coral.

Great Britain caused a shock when they took gold at Athens 2004, but a repeat is rated as a 50/1 prospect. They are 8/5 to take any medal, but Trinidad and Tobago seem a better option at 5/4 in the same market.

■ Pointers…
Mo Farah to win 5,000m at 7/4 with Coral
Buy Mo Farah's 5,000m gold index at 26 with Sporting Index
Back USA to win 4x100m at 9/4 with Coral