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Triathletes Cover a lot of Ground

Posted by Webster Washington on 8/16/2016 7:09:20 AM

Think of three common exercise routines many of us do: swimming, bike riding or running. Now consider doing all three at distance; just under a mile swim; a 25 mile ride; and a little more than a four-mile run ... all in one session. No, we wouldn't tackle that. But these guys do. They're triathletes, and they've been in Olympic competition since the 2000 Games in Sydney. More than 50 of these amazing endurance athletes will line up for the current games and the Rio 2016 betting should be wide open. Here are the top contenders in the men's triathlon:

Alistair Brownlee

One half of the famous Brownlee brothers duo from Great Britain, Alistair gets the nod as the favorite in Rio 2016 betting, because he is the defending gold medalist and has performed well so far this year. He beat two other contenders in a world event in Stockholm this year and has posted strong times over the past two years. No one has ever won gold more than once in this event, so if the 28-year-old can triumph, he will be the most successful Olympic triathlete of all time.

Jonathan Brownlee

The 26-year-old younger brother won bronze in that 2012 Olympics and was just behind his brother in the Stockholm event, as well. He was third behind the Spanish duo of Mario Mola Spain's Fernando Alarza in the world Gold Coast triathlon also this year. He has a long list of victories on other triathlon levels going back to 2010.

Mario Mola

Spain has been coming with great triathletes in recent years and Mola is the top rated one in Rio. The winner of four major triathlons this year, he is ranked No. 1 among Olympic qualifiers by the International Triathlon Union.

Fernando Alarza

The other Spaniard in the mix of favorites, Alarza won the Cape Town triathlon, was second in the Gold Coast and fifth in Stockholm.

Richard Murray

This South African could be the wild card in Rio. A junior and under-23 champion, he was the elite African triathlon champion in 2011 and 2012. This year he's had a disqualification and a DNF in major events, but did win and place second in events in New Zealand and England that the Brownlees didn't enter.

Alistair Brownlee is -125 in Rio 2016 betting, which is not too appealing on such a long course where anything can happen. Almost any of the other contenders look better, with Murray showing up at +900 as a longshot type. Mola at +220 gets my money based on his winning record of late. The triathlon goes off around 9 a.m. Eastern on Thursday. Bet now.

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