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Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Tamberi could soar in high jump

Perez in discus gold-medal discussion

European champion Gianmarco Tamberi
1 of 1

Day eight
BBC1 and Eurosport 1, 6.30pm Friday

Four events get started on day eight of the athletics in London - all in the morning session - with women's 100m hurdles world-record holder Kendra Harrison the star turn.

Harrison is not worth opposing but the women's discus favourite may be worth taking on. Croatia's dual Olympic champion Sandra Perkovic has the three longest throws of the year yet she is wobbly in major championships - at Rio she fouled her first two throws in qualifying and registered just one valid mark in the final.

She came into this season unbeaten since the 2015 world championship final, but has been beaten twice this season - both times by Cuban Yaimi Perez in June and July. Perez is a fair price to make it three defeats in as many months.

The upsets can continue in the men's high jump. Qatar's Mutaz Essa Barshim is the overwhelming favourite on this season's form but that has been the case for pretty much every major since 2012 and his tally of two silvers, a bronze and a fourth highlight his lack of championship legs.

Canada's Derek Drouin, on the other hand, has excellent championship form as the reigning world and Olympic champion but injury has interrupted his preparation this season as has his focus on multi-eventing and the extra bulk may inhibit his jumping.

Instead try another athlete on the comeback from injury. Italy's Gianmarco Tamberi.

Tamberi was ruled out of Rio last year when injuring himself attempting 2.41m in Monaco - having won the competition with 2.39m - and he returned to action last month, jumping 2.28m twice. This may come too soon but if he has kicked on in training and got himself close to his best then prices as big as 18-1 grossly underestimate his chance.

Ashton Eaton's retirement has opened up the decathlon and without the double Olympic and double world champion the favourite's mantle has fallen to the man who took silver in Rio, France's Kevin Mayer.

Mayer has been in sparkling form in 2017, sprinkling PBs across most events he has contested - indoors and out - but the decathlon is a gruelling contest and his injury record makes him a dubious proposition at 2-5. 

Damian Warner is the obvious one to oppose him with, but if Mayer stays fit he probably has the Canadian covered and instead it could pay to back Grenada's Lindon Victor.

The 24-year-old has smashed collegiate records in America, is fourth on the world points list this year and is improving quickly. At 6-1 he is worth backing for a podium finish.

Recommendations
Y Perez Women's discus
1pt 7-2 generally
G Tamberi Men's high jump 
1pt 18-1 Betfred
L Victor top-three finish Men's decathlon
1pt 6-1 Sky Bet

Ashton Eaton's retirement has opened up the decathlon and the favourite's mantle has fallen to the man who took silver in Rio, France's Kevin Mayer
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