Rio 2016 Olympic Games betting preview for day 2 (August 7 AET)

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Updated: August 11, 2016

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2016 Olympic Games, day 2 betting preview: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Sunday, August 7 (AET)

One of the aspects of the Olympics that we enjoy as fans is that sports we don’t normally follow are thrust into the spotlight. Along with that come some fascinating storylines, and we’ll encounter one of those on the first night of swimming at the Olympic Aquatic Stadium in Barra Da Tijuca. Last year, Chinese sensation Sun Yang (the man who broke Australian Grant Hackett’s legendary 1500m freestyle world record) served a three-month doping ban this season before returning to competition, officials revealed in the country’s biggest drugs case in years.

The double Olympic champion won three gold medals at the Asian Games after serving the previously unannounced ban. Chinese officials denied a cover-up and said the suspension was unusually short because Sun, 22, had convinced them he did not mean to take the banned stimulant trimetazidine. Chinese swimmers were notorious for doping in the 1990s, partly explaining the innuendo that swirled after Ye Shiwen’s jaw-dropping women’s 400m individual medley win at the 2012 London Olympics. Xinhua said Sun’s suspension was imposed in July but backdated to May 17, when he tested positive for trimetazidine at the Chinese national championships.

 

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He was stripped of his 1500m national title and fined 5000 yuan (AUD $866). The suspension ended on August 17, a month before the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea. The China Anti-Doping Agency (CHINADA) said Sun, jailed briefly last year for driving offences, waived his right to have his B-sample tested after failing the initial test. Sun’s recent history has certainly stoked the fire in Australia’s world championship bronze medallist Mack Horton, who has privately expressed his displeasure that his Chinese rival will be on the pool deck in Rio.

So watch for fireworks should Sun and Horton be front and centre when the final is conducted in a race that Australia has a strong history (won twice by legends Murray Rose and Ian Thorpe and also Brad Cooper). Historically a 3:41-3:42 swim has been what it takes to capture gold and a 3:43-3:44 to be there for a medal. Aside from the winning time, the event got a little slower from 2011 to 2013, however some of the times that have already been posted this year could push the envelope even lower.

 

 

Confirmed betting

Swimming – men’s 400m freestyle winner: Mack Horton, Australia (one unit @ $2.05)
Swimming – women’s 4x100m freestyle relay: Australia (three units @ $1.15)

• Selections are listed in three categories – 1) Suggested (likely bet but yet to be finalised); 2) Confirmed (locked in at the price listed); and 3) Leans (tips, but not recommended bets); all times quoted are Australian Eastern Time (AET); prices with thanks to William Hill (except where markets are not available), correct at time of publication. Bets void if listed pitchers do not start. Results/comments on today’s games/races will follow in the next post.

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