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let the athletics begin!

Plenty of activity in the Olympic Stadium tomorrow, but most of it relates to heats and qualifications. The heptathlon gets off to an early start, plus there are two other sets of medals up for grabs on opening night. As with my swimming tips, I tend to bet late - when the field for the final is known and I have venue form to work from, rather than securing ante-post value days or weeks in advance.

Heptathlon

The markets show this as Jess Ennis v Tatyana Chernova but it's not that simple. The reigning Olympic champ is Nataliya Dobrynska who also won this year's world indoor pentathlon title. Her husband and coach died soon after that result causing her to take a short break from training. Since then her season has been fully focused on London, rather than any other multi-discipline event on the schedule in preparation. And she has a history of focusing on the big prizes, when she won in Beijing, her record during the year wasn't anything to get excited about either.

I'd love to see Jess Ennis win gold here, she is the face of the Games for most of Britain and the pressure on her has been huge. But at a best price of 1.8, I have to look elsewhere for value. I'd rather be on Dobrynska whose strengths are the throwing events which are Ennis' weakness. If she can keep up on the other disciplines, her chance of repeating becomes stronger.

0.5pt Dobrynska 7 Ladbrokes (bet down to 6)

Men's Shot Put

Tough to split the big men here. The Americans Cantwell, Hoffa and Whiting lead the way with three men who have all recorded 22m put this year but Storl (2011 WC), Majewski (2008 gold) and Armstrong (>22m last yr) have valid hopes. I think I'd rather watch qualifying in the morning first before identifying a bet.

No bet - yet

Womens 10000m

Cheruiyot and Dibaba rule the roost here, miles out in front of the market. Can't get involved.

No bet

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