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The final flight of Women's freestyle sees two US hammers go to bat in Kayla Miracle and Tamyra Mensah and their performances will be critical in the quest for a team medal.
Japan and Russia have pulled away from the pack but Team USA is right in the thick of things with China and Ukraine for Bronze.
Below are bracket analyses for our final two ladies.
62kg - Kayla Miracle vs. Nabira Esenbaeva (UZB)
Kayla's Road: Well, it's about as terrible a draw as you can get. That being said, I think on a match-by-match basis, Kayla is the better wrestler for quite a while throughout her path which will go JR World Silver-SR World 5th-SR World Silver-Yarygin Champ to start.
She opens with Esenbaeva who is making her SR Worlds debut after bringing home Silver from JR's last year. Kayla will then get the #2 seed Lais Nunes who Mallory Velte beat in the Bronze bout a year ago. The Round of 16 would bring Tunisia's Marwa Amri who was the World runner-up to Helen in 2017. Quarters would be another young talent in Russia's Yarygin Champ, Maria Kuznetsova, who beat the defending World Champ at the Euro Games.
Top Half Analysis:
The ultra consistent Taybe Yusein (BUL) is the defending champ and top seed. She's medaled in every tournament she's enter except for one (where she was 5th) in the last 20 months. She has a really good foursome in her second bout she'll face the winner of Euro Games runner-up Elmira Gambarova (AZE) and Euro Games Bronze Kriszta Incze (ROU). The second quad that feeds into that is actually much simpler with Henna Johannsson (SWE) the clear pick as the winner of three rankings events plus the Klippan. I don't have time to run the numbers right now, but it's surprising she's not seeded.
The 4th seed is Mariana Sastin (HUN) who won a World title back in 2013 but hasn't medaled since. She opens with JR Bronze Aurora Campagna (ITA) but should cruise to quarters and probably even semi's. That quad is average at best.
Bottom Half Analysis:
Runner-up to Yusein, Yukako Kawai (JPN) is the #3 seed. She's lost just twice in the last two years but one was recently to Tynybekova (KGZ) who she'll see in her second bout. The favorite to meet the Kawai/Tynybekova winner in the quarters will be Ukraine's Yulia Tkach, a 4x World medalist. She opens with 2017 Bronze Renteria (COL).
The final quad was taken care of above in Kayla's section.
Best Early Bout: Round of 16 - Kawia (JPN) vs. Tynybekova (KGZ)
68KG - Tamyra Mensah vs. Michelle Montague (NZL)
Tamyra's Road: A returning Bronze medalist, Tamyra is the #2 seed but will have a solid second match with Nigieria's Blessing Oborududu who was 5th in 2017 and 3rd at Dogu. The real test for the two-time Yarygin Champ though, will come in quarters against Sara Dosho who hasn't lost a match this quad, winning Worlds in 2017 and Rio.
Top Half Analysis:
Both returning finalists from 2018 are in the top half but they wouldn't meet till quarters.
The top seed is the defending champ Alla Cherkasova (UKR) who should see last year's 5th place finisher from 72kg Hamza (EGY) in the second round. The quad that feeds into Cherkasova's quarter is loaded. Russian youngster Velieva who's making her SR debut has Feng Zhou (CHN) a two-time World medalist, with the winner getting 2018 World Silver (at 65kg) Danielle Lappage (CAN).
Yarygin Champ Battsettseg Soronzobold (MGL) is the #4 seed. She has a good second round bout with Anastasia Grigorjeva (LAT) who was Bronze in 2017. But the quad above is the juicy one. There Jenny Frannson (SWE), a Rio Bronze who has Turkish rising star Buse Tosun who won U23's and took Bronze at SR's both in 2018. The winner gets last year's World runner-up and one of my personal favorites, Koumba Larrouque who was in both SR and JR finals in 2018.
Bottom Half Analysis:
The other quarter in Tamyra's half has Rio runner-up Maria Mamashuk (BLR) as the #3 seed. She was 5th at Worlds last year and likely gets Irina Netreba (AZE) who beat Forrest Molinari in the Bronze bout at 65kg last year. That winner (Mamashuk-Netreba) will be the semifinalist as the following stanza is pretty barren. Gimme Mamashuk to meet the Dosho-Mensah winner to round out the bottom half semi.
Best Early Bout: Round of 32- Frannsson (SWE) vs. Tosun (TUR)