THE Summer Olympic Games in 2016 are being held in Rio de Janeiro – the second largest city in the country and the most well-known across the world.
This is the first time any South American country has hosted the Summer Olympic Games and the second time in two years Rio has hosted the biggest sporting event of the year after showcasing the 2015 FIFA World Cup.
The games kick off on August 5 and come to a close on August 21.
Best bookmakers for Tokyo Olympics
As the winding road to Rio has started to enter the home straight, the support from the bookmakers has started to intensify.
Since we have entered 2016 the markets have begun to open with the majority of the online bookmakers starting to offer numerous futures options for punters to invest upon.
Not all of the sports will have markets available early days, with many of the events final fields, not yet decided.
Tokyo 2020 – by the numbers
• Over 10,500 athletes are expected to enter Rio for the games; representing 206 countries.
• There are 306 medal events in 2016.
• The men will have 161 chances to win a medal in Rio, while the women have 136 events in which to take to the podium.
• Nine events have a mixture of both men and women competing for the medals.
What is new?
The 2016 Summer Olympic Games will see the return of two sports to the fold.
Golf returns to the Olympics after 112 years in the wilderness while Rugby’s 92 year sabbatical ends in Rio.
The must-see events of Tokyo 2020
Every Summer Olympic Games has events you cannot miss and Rio 2016 will be no different. This year it is all about the 100m events – both on the track and in the pool.
Usain Bolt will be scorching up the track in what will more than likely be his last ever Olympic appearance, and the Jamaican’s standing as the greatest ever athlete will be solidified with a strong showing in Rio.
On the swimming side of things, the Aussies have a huge chance to add to the gold medal tally early on in the piece.
With two legitimate chances at the 100m distance, Australia will be hoping we can go one better this year after a silver in 2012 at London.
Let’s take a look at the events to watch at Rio 2016 and the best ways to bet on the outcome.
Men’s 100m final
It is always the most watched event at the Summer Olympics and the 2016 iteration will be no different.
Usain Bolt will be looking to win three Gold Medals in a row at the distance, but after only just defeating American Justin Gatlin in a tense 100m final at the World Championships at Beijing; has the aura of invincibility around Bolt mellowed somewhat?
100m Men’s freestyle final
Even those who dislike the swimming events at the Olympics cannot help but keep one eye on the men’s 100m final, given the drama and tension the race typically generates.
Australia characteristically excels in the 100m freestyle. The Aussies have featured on the podium at the last three Summer Olympic Games, but have failed to win the Gold at the distance since 1968.
This year is Australia’s best chance to win Gold in the 100m. Outspoken Australian James ‘The Missile’ Magnussen was one of the big disappointments in the pool in 2012, failing to win the gold medal he declared he would in the lead in to the event.
Magnussen instead had to settle for Silver in London.
The 24-year old believes in 2016 he will go one better, but Magnussen ($7.50) will face stiff opposition from compatriot Cameron McEvoy who is the $2.75 favourite to win gold at Rio.
Best Aussie bets at Rio
Outside of seeing Bolt compete and witnessing some of the more bizarre sports that ordinarily do not receive much attention outside of the Olympics, the reason we all tune in is to see the Aussies battle for the medals.
With the inclusion of the Rugby Sevens and golf into the 2016 games, Australia has two more chances to win Gold in events that offer true cause for optimism.
Let’s take a look at five of our favourite Aussie bets heading into Rio 2016.
Any Australian male golfer to win a gold medal
After a long period which saw Australia struggle to produce world-class level golfers, we have entered somewhat of a golden era of Aussie golf.
Jason Day (world number three), Adam Scott (world number 18) and Marc Leishman (world number 30) are all inside the top 30 golfers in the world, with Day and Scott consistently among the top performers at the major events.
Australia to win gold in the Rugby Sevens
The Sevens format has not been Australia’s strong suit since its inception, but after making a big impact in Sydney at the start of the year, could Rio be their time to shine?
The Aussies were fantastic in the Sydney 7s tournament, going down 23-27 to New Zealand in the final.
The Wallabies are currently ranked fourth in the Rugby Sevens standings, just 15 points shy of the three teams locked on 69 points ahead of them – Fiji, South Africa and New Zealand.
Shooting – Men’s 50m Prone Rifle
Australian sharp-shooter Warren Potent will go out to prove he’s got the fastest trigger finger in the world in the 50 metre prone rifle.
There’s been some controversy surrounding the Australian shooting team after the disqualification of former gold medallist Michael Diamond, but Potent – the man with the most appropriate name at the Olympics – has the ability to deliver some much-needed good news to his team.
Australia men’s hockey to win gold
In terms of Olympic events the Australians are perennial threats in, men’s field hockey is right at the top of the list. The Aussies have won three of the last seven gold medals in field hockey – they know what it takes to win.
Australia is currently ranked no.1 in the world; almost 200 points clear of reigning Olympic champions the Netherlands. Australia won the 2014 World Cup against the Olympic champions away in their opposition’s home country.
Australia not to win over 10.5 Gold Medals in Rio
Before you scream sacrilege – let’s look at the facts. Only four times in 25 Olympic appearances has Australia managed to hit double figures in the gold medal tallies. Two of those were the years they hosted the games and had almost double the amount of athletes as other years.