One of my favourite pastimes has always been to visit a betting shop whenever I attend an international sporting event.
So Glasgow is no different. After a gala opening ceremony, steeped in rich Scottish history, from bagpipes to shipbuilding to biscuits and most of all joyous singing and participation from an expectant crowd, I’m ready to resume my bad habits.
Yesterday, I walked into Ladbrokes. It was small, probably no more than half the size of a government minister’s office in T&T, but there were a lot of people transversing in and out the doors. The young lady behind the first counter was so helpful that she stopped what she was doing to assist me in my very pleasant enquiries on Commonwealth Games betting.
It was apparent that I was the only one for the day, maybe even the week, who had enquired, because the betting details were only available on the screen in the back office, and even then, it was only available on the men’s 100 metres sprint and not the women’s 100 metres, which was where my first query was.
The good news is that three-time Olympic medallist Richard Thompson is second favourite at 5-1 to win the event.
So off I went in search of an answer on Michele Lee Ahye as I am not one for easily giving up, especially when there is a clear objective in mind. This time I found myself in Corals, which was similar in size but had less persons inside. Here though, there was a similar problem since they had no betting on the Commonwealth Games. The young man seemed rather embarrassed to tell me this in a land where they bet on nearly everything. He would do some checking, and I agreed that something was wrong. Almost as if all the records had disappeared.
All the while, I kept wondering what was going on with the women’s 100 metres. Was it true that Michele Lee Ahye’s brilliance this season had scared away all opposition, and there was no betting available?
My third stop was William Hill, my favourite betting shop from my days in London. Still no information on the women’s 100 metres. Instead I found out that George Bovell III was the 15/8 favourite to win the men’s 50 metres freestyle in swimming.
So this was clearly not going to be a successful day for me. I left without placing a bet on Lee Ahye.
By the way, I’m still in search of the kilt. There were a number of women in kilts playing bagpipes, and contrary to popular Scottish tradition, I believe the women do a better job in that kilt role, than men.
But for now, as the competition swings into gear, I’m going to wear a big smile and bet on T&T to win some medals.
William Hill, Corals and Ladbrokes can keep their bets.
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