Monday, September 24, 2018
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By The Associated Press

I wanted Andy Murray. I ended up with Usain Bolt.

My fault, apparently, though I still would have liked to have gotten 5 quid down on Murray at 4-1 to win the Olympic tennis gold. Sweet redemption it would be for Murray after losing in the finals at Wimbledon. Sweet for my wallet, too.

Unfortunately, the tennis had already begun, so the clerk at the William Hill betting parlor on Pentonville Road couldn't book the ticket. So I went with a parlay of Bolt winning the 100- and 200-meter sprints and Jamaica winning the 4x100 relay.

Betting is a national pastime in England, and William Hill and Ladbrokes shops compete every few blocks around London. It's also one of the few places that take Olympic bets Vegas doesn't book them on everything from Michael Phelps winning two or more gold medals (4/6 odds) to opening ceremony director Danny Boyle getting a knighthood for his work getting the Olympics off to a good start (even money).

On a bustling Monday morning at the Pentonville Road shop, there wasn't much demand for Olympic action. A couple punters (British slang for bettors) were watching a telecast of greyhound racing from Sheffield, but the betting window was otherwise unoccupied.

I got my money in on Bolt and his teammates (at 2/1 odds), then added a bet on Ryan Lochte to win the 200-meter freestyle (3-1) on a lark.

Proof, perhaps, that not all the Olympic action takes place in official venues.

Tim Dahlberg Twitter


EDITOR'S NOTE "Eyes on London" shows you the Olympics through the eyes of Associated Press journalists across the 2012 Olympic city and around the world. Follow them on Twitter where available with the handles listed after each item, and get even more AP updates from the games here:

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