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Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

Steeplechaser Ruth looks bet of the week

Farah may be pushed to the limit

Bahrain's Ruth Jebet
1 of 1

Day six
BBC2 and Eurosport 1, 6.30pm Wednesday

Mo Farah is back in action on day six of the World Championships in London as he bids for the second half of an unprecedented fifth consecutive double in major events.

He will probably win, but there is value in the podium market as Farah was forced to run his fastest 10,000m since 2011 last Friday and there is every chance he will also be pushed to the limit in the 5,000m.

At 34, with that final in his legs and a qualifying round to negotiate, the hope among his rivals will be that he could fall victim to younger, fresher athletes - especially if they make it as much of a test as the longer race was.

With two young Ethiopians in the field who have run the distance faster this season than Farah has in any of the last six years they have every reason to set a ferocious pace.

Muktar Edris won a blaze-up in Lausanne last month, covering the final lap quicker than Farah did on Friday, albeit after covering half the distance.

He is undoubtedly a threat but his 17-year-old teammate Selemon Barega - just 0.35s behind Edris in Lausanne - appeals most at the prices.

Beatrice Chepkoech looks the wrong favourite in the women's 3,000m steeplechase. She is consistent but just shy of top class and arguably is not even the second-best Kenyan, let alone the favourite.

Teammate and reigning world champion Hyvin Jepkemoi carries top billing but the 18-year-old Celliphine Chespol, who has the world-leading time this year, looks the biggest Kenyan threat to the woman who should be favourite - Bahrain's Ruth Jebet.

The 20-year-old Rio gold medallist took six seconds off the world record two weeks later and that puts her in a class of her own. She had a fall at the water on her last start but still finished the race and she looks great value.

In a parallel universe Tianna Bartoletta is the long jump's most decorated athlete. Aged 19, Tianna Madison as she was then, won the 2005 gold medal.

She then concentrated on a sprinting career, collecting a 4x100m gold at London 2012, but since returning to jumping in 2014 she has added the 2015 world championships and last year's Olympics.

If she had jumped through the intervening ten years she would not be such a nice price and while she faces another stiff examination by teammate Brittney Reese, Bartoletta has out-competed Reese in national and international championships and comes with the added benefit of producing her recent gold medal-winning jumps in the fifth and sixth rounds.

Recommendations
S Barega top-three finish Men's 5,000m
1pt 6-4 Sky Bet
R Jebet Women's 3,000m steeplechase
2pts 7-2 general
T Bartoletta Women's long jump
1pt 9-4 Sky Bet

Farah was forced to run his fastest 10,000m since 2011 last Friday and there is every chance he will also be pushed to the limit again
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