- Trayvon Bromell is the betting favorite to win the men’s 100m race at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games
- Canadian Andre De Grasse is trying to improve from his bronze-medal performance at Rio 2016
- Read below for odds, analysis and picks for the men’s 100m race
The pool is cool, and gymnastics may be fantastic, but the 100m race remains the glamour event of the Olympics.
And on the men’s side, the torch will be passed to a new champion in Tokyo, with living legend Usain Bolt stepping aside after a dominating run that saw him lay claim to the fastest man on the planet crown the last three Olympic Games.
Without Bolt on the blocks, this race can go several ways. There’s a strong American contingent, led by Trayvon Bromell, who’s looking to write his own storybook ending after a devastating injury in Rio. Ronnie Baker is also in the mix, as is US teammate Fred Kerley.
South African Akani Simbine, Canadian Andre DeGrasse and Britain’s Zharnel Hughes should all be major contenders, and don’t forget about Yohan Blake — who might be able to keep the crown on the island of Jamaica.
The action gets underway over two days, with qualifications beginning July 31, culminating with the final race Aug 1. You can catch all the action on NBC.
Men’s 100m Odds
|Andre De Grasse||CAN||+900|
*Odds from DraftKings as of July 28
It’s been a long and not-always pleasant path to favorite in the 100m at Tokyo 2020 for Bromell. He’s come a long way since needing to be wheelchaired off the track at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games after suffering a ruptured Achilles during the 4x100m relay.
The 26-year-old had just started coming into his own, winning the World indoor 60m race and finishing with a bronze at the Worlds in the men’s 100m.
MEN'S 100M WORLD LEADER
TRAYVON BROMELL WINS THE 100M with an incredible 9.77s for the best mark in the world this year at the NACAC NEW LIFE INVITATIONAL
⭐️And you saw it live on the Panam Sports Channel⭐️
🥉Chris Royster🇺🇸10.08 pic.twitter.com/SEaiYpSCVW
— Panam Sports (@PanamSports) June 5, 2021
But after hitting an absolute low in 2018, he’s been building up to this moment. He comes into Tokyo holder of the fastest two times in the world this year, clocking in a 9.77 at a meet in Florida in June — that’s the seventh-best mark all-time. To prove that was no fluke, he followed that up with a win at the US Olympic Trials in a blistering 9.80.
Bromell has won 15 of his last 16 races, his only setback in Monaco, breaking his streak of 14 straight wins. He’s gone sub-10 seconds in 10 of those starts.
Men’s 100m Schedule
|Preliminary Round||Saturday, July 31||10:35pm ET|
|Heats||Saturday, July 31||6:45am ET|
|Semifinal Round||Sunday, August 1||6:15am ET|
|Final Round||Sunday, August 1||8:50am ET|
Names to Keep an Eye On
Bromell isn’t the only American capable of bringing home the country’s first gold since Justin Gatlin won at Athens 2006. Ronnie Baker has shown he’s more than capable of going low. He posted a season-best 9.85 en route to second at the US Trials behind Bromell. But he does have an elusive win over the favorite, clocking a 9.91 to best Bromell and the rest of the field in Monaco.
Ronnie Baker won the 100m in 9.91 s at the Diamond league championships in Monaco 🇲🇨 pic.twitter.com/dl2LBUnVzW
— The kool one 🍫✨ (@alidre19) July 9, 2021
South African Akani Simbine has lurked around the fringes of the podium in all the big races, with top-5 finishes at London 2012, Rio 2016 and the 2019 Worlds in Doha. But he’s a bigger threat than ever to claim his first major medal after turning in a personal-best of 9.84 in Hungary on July 6. He’s ranked second in the world behind Bromell, a spot he’s occupied for the last eight weeks. He’s trying to deliver the first African gold in this race since 1908.
🔝 A new South African record.
— PEAK (@ThePeakSA) July 6, 2021
Perhaps the most enticing bet is someone with some experience in the winners circle. Canadian Andre De Grasse won bronze at Rio 2016 and also claimed bronze at Doha. The fall to +900 odds is likely due to the fact he’s gone sub-10 just twice in seven races on the season. He does have a 9.92 time at a meet in May in Jacksonville, and in a field where many are trying to make their mark, De Grasse is only looking to level up.
— Tim and Friends (@timandfriends) July 22, 2021
And who can forget when Jamaican youngster Yohan Blake was considered a real threat to top Bolt at London 2012? Now 31, the youngest 100m world champion and owner of the third-fastest time in history at 9.69 (behind Bolt’s WR 9.58 and OR 9.63), he’s found a podium finish in this race just once since London, at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. A 9.95 finish at a meet in Georgia in July is his best this season.
What’s the Best Bet?
We should also mention that Christian Coleman, the American world champion in 2019, is out of Tokyo for a suspension, missing three consecutive drug tests. This field is wide open. In terms of value, De Grasse at +900 and Simbine at +750 are in the sweet spot of value and ability to win outright.
But those should be your side bets. Not to get too chalk on you, but this is Bromell’s to lose. The only thing stronger than his redemption story are his times, and I think he just edges De Grasse and Baker to take to the title.
The pick: Bromell (+100)