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Van Commenee relying on these Olympic athletes to keep his job

| 11.07.2012

Team GB have been set a target of eight athletics medals at the London Olympics and Charles van Commenee has vowed to resign as head coach of UK Athletics if this figure is not reached.

Britain only managed four athletics medals in Beijing four years ago, but this did improve under Van Commenee’s leadership when seven medals were gained at last year’s World Championships in Daegu.

He is expecting further improvement and outside of the relays, there are 11 athletes who can be labelled as a medal hope if producing their best.

Jessica Ennis is the obvious candidate and is 4/6 to triumph in the heptathlon.

She has been setting personal bests in the individual events throughout the season and now needs to string them together on one day.

Mo Farah is another favourite and could effectively leave with two medals if opting to double up in both the 5,000m and 10,000m.

Trainer partner Galen Rupp will be a threat, but it is 4/1 that Farah wins both events.

Phillips Idowu and Christine Ohuruogu were among the medallists in Beijing and it is 5/1 that the triple jumper adds another gold to an already full trophy cabinet in London.

Ohuruogu is another big-race performer and can be backed at 33/1 to successfully defend her 400m crown.

With Dwight Phillips injured, Greg Rutherford must have a chance in an open men’s long jump and a leap close to his 8.35m British record could make 5/2 good value that he wins gold.

Also in the men’s field events, Lawrence Okoye would have a chance of a medal if getting close to the British record of 68.24m he threw in the discus in May, while Robbie Grabarz is ranked second in the world this year in the high jump and is 5/1 in the Olympics odds to win gold.

Holly Bleasdale has cleared 4.87m indoors this year in the women’s pole vault and then substantially bettered her outside best when jumping 4.71m in the British trials.

This is only just shy of the world leading mark this year and with the possibility of going higher, Bleasdale looks overpriced at 40/1 to win the pole vault.

Shara Proctor also broke the British long jump record at the trials and is a realistic medal hope, with Yamile Aldama in the triple jump at a time where no woman looks in the shape to go beyond 15m.

Finally, a major medal dark horse may prove Andrew Osagie in the 800m.

David Rudisha will be virtually impossible to stop, but Osagie set a new PB in the recent Diamond League meeting in New York when finishing third in a very-strong line-up and he is worth considering each-way at 66/1 for gold in London.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.



Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.