Though Scottish runner Laura Muir isn’t favourite for the women’s 1500m at the Olympics, she recently beat the British record. Does she have a chance of victory?
Online sportsbooks in the UK rate the chances of Scottish runner Laura Muir at around 11/1, behind clear favourites Faith Kipyegon and Genzebe Dibaba, who available for 11/10 at Bet365. However, after her recent British record time of 3 minutes 57.49 seconds, many are hopeful that she can surprise the odds. Her British women’s 1500m record was claimed at the expense of legendary British runner Kelly Holmes, who won a Gold medal at the Athens Olympics thanks to her time of 3 minutes 57.90 seconds .
Beating the record of national hero Kelly Holmes will certainly boost the confidence of 23 year-old Muir, who is studying to be a vet at Glasgow University. Her record breaking run, at the Anniversary Games in London, came as a surprise to Muir: “Breaking the British record blows my mind a bit. I haven’t run a fast 1,500m this year so I wanted to go out there and show the world what I can do.” Holmes took the news well, tweeting: “Amazing run… knew you could do it. Records are there to be broken.”
Who are Laura Muir’s competitors for 1500m glory?
Having come fifth in last year’s world championship, and currently the second fastest times of anyone this year, Muir should have a good shot at a medal. The fastest times of the year came from Faith Kipyegon, the young Kenyan. She won gold at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and will be hoping for a Gold in Rio.
Sharing the position of favourite is Genzebe Dibaba, who holds the world record of 3 minutes 50.07 seconds. She is the sister of three-time Olympic Gold-medalist Tirunesh Dibaba. Genzebe’s world record time is regarded as astonishingly quick, and is treated with some suspicion in light of the arrest of her coach, Jama Aden, for suspected doping offenses. He was accused of storing EPO in the hotel in which he was staying, but denies all charges. The 2012 Olympic women’s 1500m final has been described as the “dirtiest race in history”, as half the top 10 finishers (including both the Gold and Silver medallists) have subsequently been accused of, or punished for, doping offenses. While the best bet at online sportsbooks is up for debate, it seems likely that whoever wins won’t necessarily be fully believed this time!