Bracket Analysis For First Women Brackets

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Day 4 in Nur-Sultan is the kickoff to Women's Freestyle at the 2019 World Championships. Their opening act consists of two Olympic (50/53) and two non-Olympic (55/72) weight classes. In addition to achieving World medals, wrestlers at 50 and 53 can qualify their nation's spot for the 2020 Games in Tokyo.

Nomad and I sat at dinner the other night with USA Women's coaches Clarissa Chun and Coleman Scott discussing our chances at a team title. I'm all in. While we have our work cut out for us, I believe we have the best and most balanced team — one filled with finalists potential, medal locks, and darkhorse contenders. 

Couple it with a few holes for Japan. Throw in Russia's continual regression. Consider the exodus from some of the Olympic brackets. 

We're in very good position to dethrone Japan (at least for the year).

Breakdowns are below.


50kg - Whitney Conder vs. Son Hyang Kim (PRK)

Full Bracket Link

Whitney's Road: 

Conder has her work cut out for her. Her first two matches would be against top-five finishers from last year. She opens with Kim who beat Conder in Round 2 a year ago before finishing fifth. The winner gets the No. 3 seed and bronze medalist from Budapest, Yanan Sun (CHN). I think she can certainly go with both, but winning the first one is a must as Sun has beaten Susaki (JPN) this year. 

Top Half Analysis: 

Ukraine's Oksana Livach is the top seed as a returning Bronze and this year's Euro champ. It's sort of thin in her quad but give me Emilia Vuc (MDA), the 2017 World runner-up to Susaki, to meet Livach in the top quarter.

Evin Demirhan (TUR) has been Bronze in her last three majors and was Bronze in 2017. She's your No. 4 seed and there's not that much with her. Valentina Islamova (KAZ) is a Russian transfer that made a medal bout back in 2015. And Ksenia Stankevich (BLR) was seventh last year. Livach-Demirhan is a good bet for the top half semi.

Bottom Half Analysis: 

The top quad of the bottom bracket is beastly. There's Kim, Conder, and Sun who are mentioned above plus the bracket favorite who would meet them in the quarter — Yuki Irie, who supplanted reigning World champ Yui Sasaki, as Japan's rep. There's also Iwona Matkoska (POL) who beat the No. 2 seed in Spain.

The No. 2 is India's Seema, who won Sassari and Dogu but who hasn't medaled at Worlds. But for a No. 2 seed, her draw couldn't be much worse. Figure Mariya Stadnyk (AZE), a perennial contender and six-time World/OLY finalist, takes her out in Round 2. 

A couple of contenders to meet Stadnyk in that quarter. Miglena Selishka (BUL) is a young talent with multiple age level medals. She was silver at this year's SR Euro's to Livach. There's also Frederika Petersson (SWE) who was eighth at Worlds last year.

Best Early Bout: Round of 16 - Stadnyk (AZE) vs. Seema (IND)


53kg - Sarah Hildebrandt vs. VIE or VEN

Full Bracket Link

Sarah's Road: 

The top seed as a returning finalist, Hildebrandt should cruise in the Round of 16 (her first match). Her quarter will provide a very tough challenge, however. Sofia Mattsson (SWE), a Rio bronze, and Mayu Mukaida (JPN) who was last year's champ at 55kg, are in the quad. Mattsson also has Vinesh (IND), who has medaled at her last nine majors (none of them Worlds), in the first round. Vinesh beat Sarah at Kolov this year.

Top Half Analysis:

Sarah's draw takes care of the whole top quad so let's move to the next quad which is incredibly weak. No. 4 seed Luisa Melendres (VEN), was seventh at Worlds in '18 but is highly susceptible. Look for Stlavira Orshush (RUS), this year's Euro champ, or Yarygin bronze S. Erdenechimeg (MGL) to reach the semi.

Bottom Half Analysis: 

Canada's Diana Weicker is the No. 3 seed as a returning bronze, but she has a really tough one to open in Zasina (POL) who was bronze in '17. The winner will get a very scary Yong-mi Pak (DPK) who is a wild card not only in this portion of the bracket, but for the entire tournament. In her only World Championships (2017) she was fifth. And she just won Asians by beating last year's World Champ at 55kg (Mukaida) in the finals.

Qiyanu Pang sits all the way at the bottom as the No. 2 seed. She was bronze last year and won Kolov where Vinesh and Hildebrandt were silver and bronze, respectively. Other than her, there are a lot of middle-of-the-road contenders. It's an oddly average group, especially for the bottom quad. 

Best Early Bout: Round of 32 -  Mattsson (SWE) vs. Vinesh (IND)

Best Early Bout: Round of 16 -  Vinesh/Mattsson vs. Mukaida (JPN)


55kg - Jacarra Winchester vs. Madina Nadirova (KGZ)

Full Bracket Link

Jacarra's Road: 

The No. 3 seed, Jacarra should be in control in Round 1 vs. Nadirova, who was just eighth at Asians and is making her SR Worlds debut. She has a tough but winnable match in the quarters with Bot-Ochir (MGL) who was bronze at Yarygin this year. 

Top Half Analysis: 

The top bracket isn't very deep, relatively. The top seed is Marina Sedneva (KAZ) who has never medaled at SR Worlds. She has points from placings at Sassari, Dogu, and Asians, none of which were golds. It's likely to be her and Ukraine bronze Anna Lukasiak (POL) in quarters.

The four seed Mengyu Xie (CHN) who won Asians where Sedneva was bronze. She has Russia's Koroshavtseva who just recently came down from 57kg where she was bronze at Dogu and silver at Yarygin. Also in that quad is young Japanese talent Nanami Irie, last year's Junior World champ.

Bottom Half Analysis: 

Jacarra's third quad is covered above.

The last group is led by the No. 2 seed Bediha Gun (TUR), the Dogu champ who was also bronze at Euros. Although Irina Husyak (UKR) hasn't been very consistent, she won Euros where Gun was bronze. That matchup (which wouldn't happen till quarters) determines that quad in my opinion.

Best Early Bout: Round of 16 - Koroshavtseva (RUS) vs. Xie (CHN)


72KG - Victoria Francis vs. Dejah Slater (CAN)

Full Bracket Link

Victoria's Road: 

As a non-Olympic weight, it's a small bracket — just 12 entries which means the four seeds are already in the quarters. Francis draws Slater who is in for the injured Justina DiStasio, last year's World champ from Canada. She'd have the No. 2 seed next — Alina Berezhna who was bronze at the Poland Open at 68 where Victoria was bronze at this weight. 

Top Half Analysis: 

Asian bronze Zhemilia Bakbergenova (KAZ) is the top seed. But the heat is a first-round tilt between multiple-time World champ Natalia Vorobeva (RUS) and Yarygin runner-up and Masako Furuichi (JPN). Does the old vet still have it?

Bottom Half Analysis: 

In addition to the notables listed above in Victoria's section, there is also Seo-Yeon Jeong (say that five times fast), who was silver at Asians.

Best Early Bout: Round of 16 - Vorobeva (RUS) vs. Furuichi (JPN)

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