Fri, Aug 19, 11:15am by Jake Equid
For the second time in three days in Rio, the basketball court is where the attention of the nation lies.
Our Boomers face Serbia in the semi-finals in what is without a doubt the biggest match the sport has ever seen in Australia.
Elsewhere on Day 14 Jared Tallent takes aim at his second successive Olympic gold in the 50k walk and the Aussies have strong chances in the BMX finals. On the track the 4 x 100 metre relays are held for both men and women.
After defeating world number three, Lithuania by 26 points on Day 12 the Basketball world is sitting up and taking notice of Australia. They are $1.48 with Serbia at $2.67 to progress to their first ever gold medal playoff. The match tips off at 8am AEST.
It was reported on Wednesday following the quarter-finals that the USA do not want to face Australia again and see us as a real threat. Speaking of the USA they are unbackable favourites at $1.05 to defeat Spain who are $8 in the other semi. The gold medal market has tightened up slightly but still sees the US as incredibly short-priced favourites at $1.05 followed by Spain at $9.50, Australia at $12 and Serbia at $21.
Earlier on in the day, Jared Tallent goes in as third favourite at $5 in the 50k walk which begins at 9pm. Tallent was famously awarded the 2012 Olympic Gold Medal earlier this year after Italy’s Alex Schwazer was banned for a doping violation. The 31 year-old from Ballarat pulled out of the 20k race to focus on this event.
Elsewhere on Day 14, The women’s BMX finals begin at 4:00am with the men’s final just ten minutes later. It’s a real luck of the draw event with the result quite often relying a lot on barrier draws but we have two really solid chances. Caroline Buchanan is second favourite at $4 behind Colombia’s Mariana Pajon who’s at $2.37. In the men’s event Sam Willoughby is favourite at $4. The latter won silver in London and if he can get a clean run will be hard to beat.
Back to the track and Day 14’s two blue-riband events, the men’s and women’s 4 x 100 metre relay finals. At 11:35am, Usain Bolt and his teammates will be looking to cap off a very successful week on the track when they head in as short priced favourites at $1.25. Twenty minutes before they run for gold their female compatriots are also favoured to top the podium at $1.53.
Australia’s other chances for a medal in athletics on day 14 comes in the women’s pole vault, where Alana Boyd is a $51 outsider and $9 for a medal (starts at 9:30am), while three Australian women compete in the 5000m final, which starts at 10:40am. Gen La Caze, Eloise Wellings, and Maddy Hills are all over $50 to medal in the event, but will have plenty of national support. Ethiopian sensation Almaz Ayana is $1.02 to win.
Onto the golf course and the best placed Aussie is Minjee Lee who shot a second round 67, she finds herself four shots off the place and has eased to a $26 shot for gold. She is still a $6.50 chance to medal at the half way mark of competition. The third round tees off at 8:30pm AEST.
In the kayaking, our men’s K4 team are second favourite at $3.75 – their first heat is tonight at 10:59pm, the semi-final is at 11:51pm and then the final is tomorrow at 11:12pm.
*All of the above odds are sourced from Sportsbet and were correct at the time of publishing
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