Olympics debrief

team gb

Like London 2012, Rio 2016 took a little while to get going for Team GB but once it did it the medals flowed. Great Britain and Northern Ireland became the first host to win more medals at the next Games. To finish second in the medal table to USA was a sensational achievement and they are getting all the plaudits.

It was absorbing sport. The middle weekend was particularly exhilarating with Mo Farah winning gold on the Saturday night in the 10,000m, followed by a Super Sunday where GB had its best day for golds in history. Max Whitlock became the first Brit to win a gold in gymnastics and doubled up a couple of hours later. Justin Rose, Jason Kenny and Andy Murray also collected. Leaving the sofa wasn’t an option.

Tuesday in the velodrome was another highlight with Kenny and Laura Trott, Britain’s golden couple, both winning gold. Kenny joined Chris Hoy with a record six in total and Trott won two, to go clear with four as the most by any GB woman. This was the BBC’s most watched session of the fortnight with over 11 million viewers.

The gold rush continued, culminating in Mo’s 5,000m win – giving him the double-double. He’s Britain’s most successful track athlete and arguably its greatest ever sportsperson, given that running must be the most competitive sport of all.

Hats off to James Ross (@DrRoss76) who came up with some great stats on knighthoods and previous SPOTY winners in the comments here. He was quick to call the potential for Sir Mo and his chances in this year’s SPOTY.

Mo certainly looks a danger to the spotybet selections at the moment. There continues to be doubt about his popularity to the wider voting demographic on SPOTY night, having disappointed backers on numerous occasions, not least when off the podium in 2012 after his first double. But his achievements this time are rightly being lauded and there seems a determination amongst his fans for some SPOTY recognition this time round.

Mo himself has even acknowledged the situation. Although how much he really cares it’s hard to be sure as he forgot he was actually on the podium in 2011 (how could he?).

I knew Adam Peaty was a bad pick just hours after posting it but fortunately we have Murray (at 10/1 ew, 7/2 e/w and 2/1), Trott (16/1 ew) and Whitlock (66/1 ew) high up in the running, as well as Gareth Bale. Murray is trading at around 2.8, Trott 7.6 and Whitlock 25  at the moment to win on Betfair, and all in with good chances of placing. They have provided solid trading material at least, having traded at 1.8, 6.0, 6.4 respectively along the way.

After doubting Mo, I’m a little worried about him now upsetting the apple cart. It will be interesting to see what happens to his price in the coming months. There aren’t now many more big sporting events to come that could shake things up. There are of course the Paralympics. Plus Hamilton could win a third F1 title and Murray has the US Open and potentially the Davis Cup to come. We also have a few world cup qualifiers and the Kenny and Trott wedding.

I get the feeling Murray may have to win one of the two to stay as favourite as I’m not sure how ending the season on a bit of a disappointment, coupled with having won it last year (as well as 2013) will appeal to the voters on the night.

The media seems in a bit of a SPOTY frenzy at the moment in what is a vintage year – one that hopefully translates into plenty of liquidity on the various Betfair markets as we move towards and beyond the shortlist announcement at the end of November.

My certainties to make the list at the moment are: Murray, Farah, Trott, Kenny, Whitlock, Peaty

Probables: Adams, Froome, Hamilton, Skelton, Joshua, Willett, Bale

Potentials: one or two Paralympians, Frampton, A Brownlee, Dujardin, a wild card

Please feel free to share your thoughts below.

31 thoughts on “Olympics debrief”

  1. Hi Paul

    I would add Jade Jones, Jack Laugher, Justin Rose, Maddie Hinch and Kate Richardson-Walsh to my wildcard list.

    If the SPOTY panel include ‘Team GB’ rather than women’s hockey specifically in the ‘team of the year’ category, I think they will want to acknowledge that teams success by including Hinch or Richardson-Walsh for the individual award. Incidentally, the last three GB flag bearers at the closing ceremony have been shortlisted (Holmes, Hoy & Ainsley).

    I am now thinking only two non-Olympians/Paralympians will make the shortlist, and I am doubting that Bale will make the cut. It’s hard to justify including a semi-finalist, by excluding someone who has come top of their field. Of the non-Olympians, I see Hamilton as the most likely to be included, followed by Joshua, Froome, Willett & Bale.

    Going back to the ‘team of the year’, given both the likely gender split and the number of Olympians/Paralympians on the SPOTY panel, I still have my doubts that Leicester are as big a favourites as the bookies odds would imply.

    If I were on the panel making the case against Leicester, I would remind everyone that 50% of Leicester’s league campaign took place in the year 2015.

    A big part of the Leicester story was that they were 5,000/1 to win the league at the start of the campaign, however in January 2016, the largest price you could get was 33/1. As a comparison, the GB women’s hockey team were 13/1 to win gold, prior to the Olympics.

    Some other English football teams who achieved great things include…

    – Liverpool 83/84 (winners of league, league cup and European cup)
    – Wimbledon 87/88 (winners of FA cup)
    – Arsenal 03/04 (unbeaten league season)
    – Manchester United 07/08 (winners of league & champions league)
    – Chelsea 11/12 (winners of champions league & FA cup)

    What they all have in common, is that they all lost team of the year to a GB Olympic team!!

    I do suspect the SPOTY panel will want to honour both Leicester and the Olympians in some way. One option would be to have co-winners (as in 1969 & 1991). Another would be for ‘Team GB’ or the hockey team to win team of the year, and Claudio Ranieri to win coach of the year.

    1. Mo farah 100% winner plus spoty 2016 being held in Birmingham the home of uk athletics 12 miles from venue to head office !

      1. In my mind he’s been Britain’s premier sportsperson for years Jason. Whether his success translates into enough mass votes we will see..

    2. Some real food for thought there James – nice football team stats. It’s does seem like they’ll have to give the hockey team recognition somehow – it was one of the most popular golds. The panel have some balancing act on their hands!

      1. The vote bit is important BUT just like th BBC hid its breath on a possible Tyson fury win the BBC also know mo farah not winning would look so bad on the uk ! What does it say about us as voters if we do not recognise mo farahs achievements ? Double double gold Olympian ! Many many many track and field athletes have won spoty BUT none has climbed the heights as mo farah , since 1954 the start of spoty athletes used to win this every 2-3 years the longest gap was 7 years Jonathan Edwards – Kelly Holmes and right now it’s the longest gap ever at 11 years ! Is MO FARAH not worthy ? Because if he does not win it will be 12 years since athletics winner held the prize and if mo farah is not worthy then NO British athlete is , for all the right reasons mo farah will and should win and I’m sure everyone will nod there head in appreciation to the greatest British track and field athlete , I personally backed him at 20/1 in January so fingers crossed I’ll make a few quid BUT he’s now 5/2 shouldn’t everyone lump on ? I know Murray is favourite but he has won it twice in the last 3 years ! That’s got to go against him surely , I personally feel mo farah even at today’s odds is a great great bet – thank you

  2. Hi there James
    I forgot to mention Also in the last 8 years there has been 3 cyclist winners and 2 tennis winners and a winner from horse racing and McCoy ( horses ) last year won a lifetime , but interestingly Jess Ennis has made th podium 5 times in that gap so wouldn’t the Jess Ennis voters get behind mo farah ??? Which realy troubles me is the fact when you look at the list of winner over the history of spoty and the current 20 years it just seems and looks as if 2016 will show a athletics winner it’s a perfect fit and would be fitting result also with all the side bets and selections made COULD there be still time to show a profit all round if we lumped on mo farah to win ? What does you gut instinct tell you who looks the winner on the night ?? Thank you for your time

    1. Hi Jason

      Like you, I placed a bet on Farah to win SPOTY at the start of the year, so I would be delighted to see him win. If this prize was decided upon by the SPOTY panel, rather than a public vote, I believe that Mo would be crowned the winner.

      I suspect that the people who voted for Jess Ennis-Hill last year, will split their votes between Mo & Laura Trott, this year.

      I think the most likely outcome is 1st Murray, 2nd Farah, 3rd Trott. However that is based on the assumption that GB wins the Davis Cup. If this doesn’t happen, Mo has a great chance.

      1. I’m just not seeing it , in truth I’m looking at historical facts
        2008 winner cycling
        2011 winner cycling
        2012 winner cycling
        2013 winner tennis
        2015 winner tennis
        if 1 of these sports you see above win 2016 the whole show will look a farce and the BBC know it – ok we all agree everyone is deserving but I’m looking at the shows format and the fact there has been 17 athletics winners and yet you think the BBC and the public will not recognise the most decorated of them all ? Then if mo farah does not win on his achievements alone then the previous 17 athletics winners are 100% not worthy by winning statistics alone – it’s so blatantly obvious that come the night mo farah will win on respect alone and I’m glad you have money on mo farah because he’s the winner , even the most die hard Murray fans know he’s not getting it because he’s won in 2013-2015 I understand the love of Murray but you have to go with logic otherwise your gonna loose money !!! If you backed mo farah then I know your laughing all the way to a great xmas , merry xmas James !

  3. And it’s being held in Birmingham the home of British athletics !! You do the math !!!!!!! Athletics could not be a bigger clue – so so so obvious – easy money still to be had 5/2 free money in my eyes !

  4. Here are my thoughts. Firstly I had a thought that Andy Murray would have a Stirling year so I backed him heavily so I want him to win. The winner will have to generate at least 300 000 votes and Murrays fan base will ensure he gets those numbers. Is this fair?? We must remember that the programme is unfair. A world record British swimmer a gold medalist gymnast a Tour de France winner are unlikely to be in the top 5 due to fan base. It’s the old cliche everyone is a winner and that is indeed true but the fact is on the night everybody has one vote which has a negative impact on the less popular candidates. Regarding Mo Farah he should’ve won in 2012 and he may get some of Jess Ennis athletics votes but has he enough loyal fans to give him their vote? I’m unsure. Would he be a deserving winner of course. He should get more votes than Bale who helped Real Madrid win Champs league but again look at fan bases. On Bale although I’ll make a few quid if he wins he shouldn’t be shortlisted on the back of Wales losing a semifinal. At time of writing this Murray failed at Usopen but is about to put his weight behind Davis Cup where they are even money favourites. Nick Skelton if shortlisted will score heavily due to his story and a big equestrian/ horse racing following. Anthony Joshua and Lewis Hamilton having exciting end of year wins will also score highly and dare I say it may take votes from Mo with some voters. I am part black myself before anyone thinks that slightly inappropriate. Good luck with your predictions everyone. Don’t forget to vote on the night. If GB win Davis Cup I’m definitely voting Murray My current prediction 1: Murray 2: Farah 3: Skelton. Regards Paul alias sportbetty on twitter

  5. Hi Paul , you make a really great point mo farah could potentially be the only black sportsperson on that short list , I personally see more and more reasons why mo will win rather than not win , I’m not really worried about fan based this time because previous winners in other years have had low poll counts ( Andy has polled very low and spiked high when winning ) What would the viewers think if on the night Andy Murray won 2013- 2015 – 2016 ???? How would it look towards the BBC ,it’s not a good look is it , like I said before Andy Murray does deserve to win but there are other British champions in sport in 2016 and on this reason alone I would swerve Andy Murray as the winner because of this fact ,sorry I hope you don’t loose too much money .
    1st mo farah
    2nd Sarah storey
    3rd Laura trott
    I see this as the perfect scenario for BBC and the British public

  6. At the end of the day it comes down to choice on who you vote on. I am biased towards Murray as he is such a great sportsman. I personally enjoy tennis more than distance running. At least gone are the days when Greg Rusedski wins without winning anything. Perhaps you may be right that Murray voters will choose another candidate but they will think about the show reel of his achievements on the night which include Queens Champion, Wimbledon champion, Italian open (beating Djockovic) Olympic Gold medalist whilst being finalists at the French and Australian Open. He still may lift the Davis Cup as well. His loyal tennis fans as well as Scottish sports fans will have to think carefully before voting elsewhere. The fact that he has won it twice before is the only reason I can see. I am however very biased. Sarah Storey and Laura Trott are good shouts for podium places but don’t be surprised if a classy heavyweight knockout by Joshua impresses people to vote for the popular boxer. I can see Murray Mo and Skelton and won’t be surprised to see which way it goes. Perhaps if they only allow a certain amount of votes to filter through from Scotland there may be a totally different outcome!

  7. It’s going to be a great night of sport – I think the BBC need to add another hour to the shows schedule with all them champions , Anthony Joshua’s fight is on the 26th November and I reckon the short list will be drawn up before this date ,only to make the selection process easier for the panel ,in my own opinion !!! if Reid wins a Olympic gold to go with his Wimbledon title and if he was to make the short list ,would he not take votes away from Murray what with him being Scottish as well ?

    1. Do you know what that is a very good point. I put a quid on bet fair at 1000/1 on that very outcome. If he did make the shortlist that would certainly put Mo in the front runner spot. Didn’t realise that the shortlist made till after Joshua fight. He may not get shortlisted in that case. All very interesting. Big day tomorrow Murray v Delpotro Davis cup and Gordon Reid going for gold. Watch this space. Good points Jason. Thanks for input!

  8. Davis Cup wise it’ll be interesting to see if Croatia can turnover a French team without the injured Monfils. A final at home to Croatia would be easier on paper than France away.

    1. I think Croatia will beat France which if GB beat Arg will mean a well attended big final in Glasgow. The tie against Argentina will be challenging the first game is vital and it’s the big guns going head to head. Andy is missing his granddads funeral to play against Delpotro so could be in a tricky space mentally. If Murray loses and GB lose the tie plus Gordon Reid getting gold and shortlist will prob derail Andys spoty chances. I’ve covered all my bases unless Adam Peaty wins! Big weekend to come!

  9. Andy Murray will miss his grandfathers funeral to play del- Potro , I hope he wins because that’s not going to look good in the papers if he does not !

  10. DC looks done – damage limitation time , when it looks obviously farahs year time to start laying heavy , deep down we can all see MO holding that large camera trophy and while you can get 5/2 there’s still time to make plenty £ Money all round ££££ good luck everyone

  11. Jason. I admire your confidence. You are now in the favourites chair but don’t get too comfortable my son it may be an ejector one. Mo is a deserving winner and if Brownlee doesn’t shortlist he will be the only athlete. If Hamilton gets beaten by Rosberg and Anthony Joshua doesn’t shortlist Mo could be a lone coloured face in the shortlist. He’s an Arsenal fan so won’t upset anyone. I’m still not convinced that I see him holding aloft the camera. Gordon Reid is the biggest threat to the 300 000 votes Murray will get. If Reid shortlists 1. Farah 2. Murray 3. Skelton if he doesn’t 1. Murray 2. Skelton 3. Farah I put Farah 3rd because Reid not shortlisting opens another slot potentially Brownlee. Good luck Paul

  12. A plunge on A Brownlee today which all happened very fast. I only managed to get a small amount on at 66/1 and should have posted it.

    Just goes to show anything can happen in this game!

    Looks like it’s going to be a wide open competition this year. If he makes the shortlist I can see the Brownlee VT being a real vote stealer. It’s different from everything else, setting him apart in a year where people may struggle to distinguish between the various Olympians.

    It’s likely I’ll be waiting until shortlist night now before further action.

  13. I saw that market move on brownlee but I just put it down to the same buzz as nick Skelton and I’ve watched those odds come inn and drift out again there has been a few marker moves because off the buzz of the moment but there remains the two market favourites firmed in the betting , it’s all about the short list at the end of the day and we can second guess all we want but WE know for sure who will make that list for sure and brownlee is not one of the certs to make it , I hope it was only a small punt either way good luck with your selections , I put all my chips on one person farah and I personally see bolt and sir mo farah winners on the night , well fingers crossed anyway LOL good luck to everyone with there selections ,im sure there will be more debate when the short list is made – we hold our breath until that day !

    1. Crickey Jason I admire your calmness. Brownlee has to shortlist and he has put a huge spanner in the Mo Murray head to head. Can you imagine watching a rerun of the Brownlee brotherley love episode after a few beers it’s definitely a vote winner. I’m gutted as I was well covered on all the front runners and I was looking forward to watching the show. Now I’ll be watching through fingernails. That shortlist will not include some phenomenal athletes cyclist etc that could’ve won in previous years.

  14. Well the process of the short list is going to be very very hard for the panel , and what might make the job easier is not short listing someone who was not on the 2012 short list ? IE brownlee a gold medalist in 2012 was not on that shortlist – so what would have changed in the minds of the panel WITH a even harder than 2012 short list to make ? In my mind there will be a list of 12 and that’s room for a masters winner and Wimbledon winner a Tour de France winner and possible F1 winner and 3 Paralympians what space is left surely will be difficult – possibly 2016 double gold winners only on what room is left , it’s going to be 12 on that short list and the panel will this year be even more ruthless so like I said ,if the panel didn’t short list brownlee in 2012 then that’s got to make there life easier this time around For sure , it’s just my own personal opinion LOL but the top 2 in the betting are firm and I’m sure it’s between them on the night , if you go on a website called odds betting.co.uk you will see spoty odds over the course of 2016 and what is very evident is there has been quite a few heroes who have been favourites who have drifted considerable from 4/1 out to 150/1 there are quite a few like I said about nick Skelton came in heavy lots of drums being banged on nick Skelton but now drifting out again and like before now brownlee odds have come inn heavy lots of noise a big buzz but guess what – he too will drift , the only reason mo farah is not favourite is purely on the fact the bookies don’t think he has the fan base to see him over the line , but what everyone knows is the fact he will be short listed and as soon as he is and the media go to work the price should tumble nicely in the right direction , this is a two horse race and none of them horses were born in England !!! It’s a Murray / farah shoot out fingers crossed to everyone who has money on theese champions .

  15. Loving your vibe Jason. What Brownlee has done differently is produce a bit of sporting drama that is heart melting. It’s something that will be difficult to ignore around the table. Not sure that there will be such a big drift on Brownlee but you could be right. When Vardy started scoring for Leicester I put £2 on 1000/1 I started rubbing my hands when Leicester won the title. Yet there is more chance Leicester winning again than Vardy making the shortlist. How on earth can you leave out one of the cyclists Storey, Froome, Kenny, Trott but 4 out of 12 too many. I can see big casualties Joshua, Froome, Hamilton, Bale, Vardy not making it in which will free up some spaces. I still reckon Murrays got Mo s number.

  16. Hi Paul
    Adam peaty went from 100/1 to 6/1 only a few weeks ago and now he’s 100/1 again and there are a few more like him too Willet was 4/1 now 100/1 so we can take comfort mo and Murray will be the front runners and probably the only 2 contenders certain to make that short list – whatever has been won this year WE know mo and Murray are the 1st 2 on that list – the rest are chancers !!!! Lol .

  17. I do love your positivity Jason. Let’s see if you’re right with the drift. When is the shortlist announced? Is it before the Joshua fight? Think Brownlee will def shortlist. Big casualties though imo

  18. I’m really looking forward to see it now – it’s a shame if brownlee makes the list because HE was not even a contender when he won his gold and every name on that list will be there because they have WON but alister brownlee will be because he helped his brother over the line and he personally finnshed 3rd ! I get the sporting merit but I would rather see him as a contender for his gold win in Rio and not coming 3rd in Mexico !

  19. D’gastino and Hamblin was a more powerful image and same scenario but we’re strangers to each other but the brownlees are brothers so it’s instinctual to help each other , if alister helped a stranger over that line then IDE be worried but brother , who would not help there brother ? It’s a great human interest story but not as good as the 2 girls above and the short list panel will remember that moment greater , 2 months from now the brownlee moment will have run its course , It’s not been seen on the BBC website for a few days , but they still show plenty of Murray and MO moments – don’t believe the hype ! It’s between the top 2 with trott and storey behind , more likely storey a 3rd place !
    1st MO
    2nd MURRAY
    3rd STOREY
    IDE back storey for a place and I think that’s were the great value will be at the moment – good luck

    1. You speak good sense and make good points. He s as low as 3/1 at the moment though so some money is going on him I think. Bookies must make loads on people that don’t make the shortlist. We will see. I’m going to get my crystal ball out and see what the future holds in the spoty market. I’ll keep you posted.

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