Usain Bolt won’t be winning any gold medals at the Tokyo Olympics. After all, the legendary Jamaican sprinter retired after the 2017 World Championships. That means that someone new will take on the mantle of fastest man in the world by winning the men’s 100-meter race on Sunday.
The winner will become the first person since 2004 not named Usain Bolt to win the event.
Bromell remains humble despite expectations
American Trayvon Bromell comes into the race as the heir apparent. DraftKings Sportsbook rates Bromell as the -110 top pick, making him a slight favorite over the entire field.
Bromell was the first junior to run the 100 meters in under 10 seconds, recording a time of 9.97 back in 2014. He ran a personal best of 9.77 earlier this year. Only six men have ever run the race faster. But while everyone – even Bolt – agrees that Bromell is the favorite in the race, he’s taken a quiet approach toward these Olympic games.
“I’m never going into a race thinking, ‘Oh, I’ve got it in the bag,'” Bromell told Yahoo. “I give every athlete their respect because they put in the work as well. But I know the thing that separates me is that I really don’t care too much about the limelight.”
Bromell’s chief rival will be fellow American Ronnie Baker (+450). Baker won two Diamond League 100-meter titles this year, and has been one of the most successful 60-meter runners as well. His personal best in the 100 came at the Olympic Trials earlier this year, and Baker believes he can compete for gold in Tokyo.
“There’s a lot of guys running fast and some of the top guys are coming out of America, but ultimately, I try not to focus on my competition and focus on what I’m doing and get better each and every race and time I step out on the track,” Baker said after winning the 100-meter race at the Diamond League meet in Stockholm earlier this month. “In my eyes, I don’t really have any competition – the only competition is with myself.”
Simbine records 100m best in Olympic leadup
Outside of the United States, Akani Simbine of South Africa may hold the best shot of winning gold in the 100-meter dash. Simbine ran his personal best of 9.84 just three weeks ago at the Gyulai Istvan Memorial in Hungary, setting himself up well for Tokyo.
“The last race I ran a personal best, which was great for us because we had planned it that way, I’m peaking at the right time,” Simbine said afterward. “I’m really looking forward to starting racing and seeing what comes out of it.”
|Olympic Men’s 100m Odds – To Win Gold (via DraftKings Sportsbook)
|Trayvon Bromell (USA): -110
|Ronnie Baker (USA): +450
|Akani Simbine (South Africa): +750
|Andre De Grasse (Canada): +900
|Fred Kerley (USA): +1400
|Zharnel Hughes (Great Britain): +2000
|Marcell Jacobs (Italy): +2500
|Yohan Blake (Jamaica): +2500
Canada’s Andre De Graase (+900) also remains a threat. De Graase won bronze in the 100 meters at the 2016 Summer Olympics and will look to reach the podium again in Tokyo.
“I feel like I’ve accomplished so much in my sport or in life,” De Grasse told Athletics Weekly. “I try to be optimistic and be positive and tell myself: ‘Hey, just do your best.’ That’s all I can really do.”