Reaching the final of the women’s 400m hurdles at the Olympics would have been the big goal for Perri Shakes-Drayton at the start of the season, but she is now looking like one of Team GB’s best hopes for a gold within athletics.
Jessica Ennis and Mo Farah lead the Team GB charge on the track in London, but a growing number of punters will be fancying Shakes-Drayton at 9/2 to challenge for gold.
Small niggling injuries have prevented Shakes-Drayton mixing it with the best in the world on a regular basis this season, but she made up for her lack of opportunities at the Aviva Grand Prix in London.
In wet and windy conditions, she demolished a strong field which included reigning Olympic 400m hurdles champion Melaine Walker and her fellow Jamaican Kaliese Spencer, who has twice taken fourth spot in the World Championship finals.
Shakes-Drayton posted a new personal best of 53.77secs in the process, which not only made her the second quickest Brit of all time after Sally Gunnell, but also equalled the second fastest time of the season to date.
She is refusing to get carried away as this was just one race and the 400m hurdles is one such event where things can go wrong on a particular day, either in terms of hurdling technique or stride pattern.
Furthermore, she has been beaten this season in other races by those she conquered in London, while there was no Natalya Antyukh, who has posted the quickest time of 2012 to date at 53.40secs.
But the event is certainly open, with 3/1 favourite Lashinda Demus beaten in the most recent Diamond League meeting in Monaco and the winner Zuzana Hejnova of the Czech Republic failed to dip under 54.00secs.
The women’s 400m hurdles is an event where Team GB has performed well in the recent past, with Tasha Danvers taking bronze in Beijing, one of only four athletics medals for the team at the Games.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.