Track and Field: The 2017 IAAF World Championships

Sports Betting

It can be easy to think that athletics is something that only happens once every four years when the Olympic Games take place. The truth is that most other athletics tournaments just don’t get the same coverage or spark the same amount of buzz and excitement in the general populace. That might not be the case with the 2017 IAAF World Championships because the Biennial competition is coming to town to be held in the Olympic Stadium in London from the 4th to 13th of August.

Plus, with the relative success of the British Athletics team at the Rio Olympics in 2016, many eyes will be on home-grown talent such as (Sir) Mo Farah, Laura Muir, Katarina Johnson-Thompson, Greg Rutherford and many more. But all British biases must be brushed aside when it comes to placing your bets on this festival of track and field events, although it’s always worth backing Mo in the 10,000 and 5,000 metres!


Tips for Betting on Athletics

When you get that urge to take a punt on the sports, Athletics is probably one of the last sports that springs to mind. Let’s face it, the regularity of big events which get decent coverage such as these World Championships are few and far between. Plus, you might not want to walk into a bet on the Athletics with nothing more than the knowledge that Usain Bolt can run fast and Mo Farah can run far.

That said, there really isn’t much to the events of track and field in terms of strategy when it comes to the athletes taking part and the bettors taking the punts. Apart from the long distance events where runners need to practise shrewd strategy to best place themselves for the final sprint, most other events really just come down to how fast the athlete can run, how far they can throw, how high they can jump and so on. So, with that in mind, the form throughout the season and on the day is really what it all comes down to.

This makes a bettors job very easy since they simply need to consult the current Athletics world rankings – there are some pretty comprehensive sources online such as – to get an idea of who should be winning the different events. Of course, it’s not as easy as that and punters should also research the athlete’s form for the season going into the competition. You can find all of the statistics, times and records by event and year on the official IAAF website.

Check Those Odds

Having an inkling of who might win an event is only half of the job when it comes to betting on Athletics. That is because you will also have to sniff out the odds on the market which represent the best value for your buck. You wouldn’t pay over the odds for something in the supermarket so you should shop around for the best deals before you bet on the IAAF World Championships.

Odds comparison websites like are a bettors best friend as they take all of the major markets and compare the best prices across the biggest and best online betting sites. Then again, the lack of popularity in athletics betting will mean that some bookies won’t offer any odds. Nevertheless, with less than a few weeks left until the championships get under way, the odds are beginning to take shape and here are some of the best bets for the IAAF World Champions in 2017.

Bolt and Farah Bowing Out

There will be two big names dominating the building to this year’s games and they are at completely different ends of the athletic spectrum. Usain Bolt and Mo Farah might run entirely different races but they do have one thing a few things in common – they both plan to retire from the track at the end of the season and they are both odds-on favourites to bow out of their respective events with a win.


Bolt is set to compete in the 100m sprint and with odds of 1/2, the nine time Olympic gold medallist is bookies favourites to win his third World Championship title in the discipline. His closest competitors are Trayvon Bromell at 5/1, Yohan Blake at 5/1 and Andre De Grasse at 6/1. So, while there could be just hundreds of seconds in the distance between first and second place there is quite a gulf between the odds and you would have to be keen to take a risk not to back the fastest man in the world.

Mo Farah will be looking to claim a ridiculous achievement in his last major track competition. The British middle to long distance runner will be competing to win a fifth double in the 5,000m and 10,000m – something he did in the 2012 and 2016 Olympics and the 2013 and 2015 World Championships. With that kind of record, it’s fair to say that Mo is favourite to win both events with odds of 1/2 in the 5,000m and 2/5 in the 10,000m. It won’t be a walk in the park, however, since there is stiff competition in the shorter distance event with Muktar Edris at 4/1 and Yomif Kejelcha at 6/1. The 10,000m seems a safe bet with the closest competitors, Bedan Karoki and Geoffrey Kamworor both on 8/1.

There are closer races odds-wise in other events with David Rudisha and Nijel Amos both as 5/4 favourites to win the Mens 800m while Johannes Vetter and Thomas Rohler as tied at 11/10 to win the Javelin.

Women’s Odds

There are plenty of close races to be run in the women’s competition and plenty of eyes will be on the 1,500m race, especially if those eyes are of the British persuasion. One of the best hopes for the British women in the 2017 IAAF World Championships is Laura Muir who is pipped at 5/2 to win the middle distance race. She will be up against some tough runners, however, with Faith Kipyegon also on 5/2 and Sifan Hassan emerging as the slight favourite on 7/4. There are also some battles to be run out in the longer distances with Genzebe Dibaba and Hellen Obiri going into the 5,000m with odds of 8/11 and 11/10 respectively.

Other interesting events coming up in the championships include the women’s long jump and triple jump. The former sees Tianna Bartoletta at 2/1 with Ivan Spanovic not far behind her with odds of 11/4. The triple jump odds are even closer with a three way battle for the win between Caterine Ibarguen on 5/4, Yulimar Rojas on 6/4 and Olga Rypakova at 9/4. Elsewhere, another field event that promises to throw up some close to call bets is the Women’s Javelin in which Sara Kolek goes into the tournament with odds of 5/4 closely followed by Barbora Spotakova at 6/4.