World Championships: Seed Analysis

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Seed analysis for the NCAA championships is a clean, easy process that I feel speaks volumes about the competitors' performance compared to expectations going into the championships. I knew that wouldn’t be the case when I embarked on this analysis for the World Championships. 

It’s not fair to make the comparison between the NCAA Championships the World Championships for many reasons. NCAA wrestling has a full season of data that provides a fair representation of each wrestler to seed them. United World Wrestling has a good system in place, but the athletes have been reluctant to participate in ranking series events. Some that have bought in, like Frank Chamizo (ITA) and Bajrang Punia (IND), were successful in setting themselves up in very advantageous spots in the brackets with No. 1 seeds. There are multiple factors that make it difficult for full participation. Travel funds, training cycles, and world team qualification process have been some of the major obstacles to weight classes getting the seeding points distributed in accordance with the talent. Up-and-coming athletes competing at the senior level for the first time also find it difficult to break into the seeded positions because the prior World Championships hold so much weight (deservedly so). That didn’t stop Deepak Punia (IND) from earning a fourth seed at 86kg and parlaying that into an appearance in the finals. He earned the seed by earning a medal at the Asian Championships and medals in two of the three ranking series events he entered. 

While I knew the results were going to be messy, I did expect to find some patterns or useful information from the analysis. Maybe upon deeper analysis you could start to unveil some indicators, but typically they just aren’t there. That speaks to the depth of talent across the world, the unpredictability of results in our sport, and in some cases the prioritization of earning a seed by the athletes. 

I went a little further in-depth for men’s freestyle by breaking down where the seeding points were accrued. I thought this might show better performances by athletes earning the bulk of their seeding points from last year’s World Championships. It did for a select group, but it wasn’t groundbreaking news for anyone. Returning world champions were all seeded in a top-three position and six of eight earned medals. All medals earned by returning champions were gold medals. Otoguro (JPN) wrestled for bronze but missed out on a medal at 65kg and Bonne Rodriguez (CUB) lost his opening bout as the top seed at 61kg. 

Seeded wrestlers in men’s freestyle earned medals at a much higher rate than Greco-Roman and women’s freestyle. The outlier of the data set was second-seeded wrestlers in Greco-Roman. They earned only one bronze medal and did not place in the top five at the nine other weight classes. One prevailing thought when looking at the brackets is that the fourth seed is in a more advantageous position compared to the second and third seeds due to the unbalanced brackets. They did not perform like that is the case. You would have to believe that the seeds were a true representation of skill level for that to be evidence, which I don’t, but it was an interesting note.

GrecoGoldSilverBronze5thDNP
1st Seed23203
2nd Seed00109
3rd Seed41104
4th Seed00307
 647023
Women's FSGoldSilverBronze5thDNP
1st Seed02053
2nd Seed31114
3rd Seed10513
4th Seed00127
 437917
Men's FSGoldSilverBronze5thDNP
1st Seed32203
2nd Seed23221
3rd Seed31105
4th Seed01234
 877513

The third seeds cleaned up in lightweight Greco-Roman. Three of the five champions were seeded third and the other two champions were not seeded in the bracket. All five top seeds earned a medal, but none of them were able to secure a championship.


WrestlerSeedResult
55kg*Azizli (AZE)1Bronze
55kg*Bakhromov (UZB)21-1
55kg*Tsurtsumia (GEO)3Gold
55kg*Fergat (ALG)40-1
60kgEmelin (RUS)1Silver
60kgKim (KOR)21-1
60kgCiobanu (MDA)32-2
60kgLizatovic (CRO)42-1
63kg*Maryanyan (RUS)1Silver
63kg*Tuo (CHN)20-1
63kg*Ota (JPN)3Gold
63kg*Galstyan (ARM)4Bronze
67kgSurkov (RUS)1Silver
67kgRyu (KOR)22-2
67kgSahakyan (POL)32-1
67kgShermakhanbe (KAZ)40-1
72kg*Mnatsakanian (BUL)1Bronze
72kg*Korpasi (HUN)2Bronze
72kg*Mantsigov (RUS)3Gold
72kg*Zhang (CHN)41-2

Greco-Roman heavyweights that were seeded found it to be tough to get to the podium. Only seven of the 16 seeded wrestlers earned medals. It was feast or famine for the top seeds as Beleniuk (UKR) and Evloev (RUS) earned titles and the three other top seeds lost their opening round match. None of the top seeds that lost in the opening round were pulled back into the repechage.


WrestlerSeedResult
77kgKim (KOR)10-1
77kgNemes (SRB)22-1
77kgLorincz (HUN)3Gold
77kgLiakh (BLR)42-1
82kg*Kus (TUR)10-1
82kg*Sasunouski (BLR)20-1
82kg*Abdvali (IRI)3Bronze
82kg*Bisultanov (DEN)41-1
87kgBeleniuk (UKR)1Gold
87kgBasar (TUR)20-1
87kgLorincz (HUN)3Silver
87kgAbbasov (AZE)41-1
97kgEvloev (RUS)1Gold
97kgMilov (BUL)20-1
97kgHancock (USA)31-1
97kgKajaia (SRB)4Bronze
130kgSemenov (RUS)10-1
130kgCoon (USA)20-1
130kgKim (KOR)30-1
130kgNabi (EST)4Bronze

The lightweight women struggled to earn medals from seeded positions in the bracket. Only six medals were earned by the 20 seeded wrestlers, and half of those medals came from the non-Olympic weights of 55kg and 59kg. This included the only two seeded wrestlers to earn titles. World power Japan earned three medals in the lightweights, but only had one wrestler seeded. Their shift in lineup and the lack of ranking series participation left them drawn into the bracket at most weights. 


WrestlerSeedResult
50kgLivach (UKR)15th
50kgSeema (IND)21-2
50kgSun (CHN)35th
50kgDemirhan (TUR)42-1
53kgHildebrandt (USA)11-2
53kgPang (CHN)2Bronze
53kgWeicker (CAN)30-1
53kgValverde (ECU)42-1
55kg*Sedneva (KAZ)15th
55kg*Gun (TUR)25th
55kg*Winchester (USA)3Gold
55kg*Xie (CHN)40-1
57kgRong (CHN)1Silver
57kgBullen (NOR)21-1
57kgAdekuoroye (NGR)3Bronze
57kgBarka (HUN)41-1
59kg*Inagaki (JPN)11-1
59kg*Morais (CAN)2Gold
59kg*Baatarjav (MGL)3Bronze
59kg*Pei (CHN)45th

A seeded wrestler earned a medal at each of the upper weights for women’s freestyle. The Japanese women are not as traditionally dominant in the upper weights, but it is still odd to only see one wrestler seeded in five weight classes. The Japanese women earned three medals despite only having one seeded wrestler. The American women did damage from seeded positions as Mensah and Gray were the only two title winners from seeded positions in the upper weights.


WrestlerSeedResult
62kgYusein (BUL)1Silver
62kgNunes De Oli (BRA)20-1
62kgKawai (JPN)3Bronze
62kgSastin (HUN)45th
65kg*Molinari (USA)15th
65kg*Temirtassova (KAZ)21-2
65kg*Manolova (AZE)3Bronze
65kg*Khurelkhuu (MGL)40-2
68kgCherkasova (UKR)15th
68kgMensah (USA)2Gold
68kgMamashu (BLR)30-1
68kgSoronzonbold (MGL)4Bronze
72kg*Bakbergenova (KAZ)15th
72kg*Berezhna (UKR)2Silver
72kg*Jeong (KOR)30-1
72kg*Anghel (ROU)40-2
76kgAdar (TUR)10-1
76kgGray (USA)2Gold
76kgFocken (GER)3Bronze
76kgWiebe (CAN)42-1

Over half of the seeded lightweights in men’s freestyle took home a medal. At 74kg three of the four seeded wrestlers took home a medal. It isn’t a coincidence that the top contenders, particularly Frank Chamizo (ITA), showed a keen interest in earning seeding points. This bracket should be the blueprint that wrestlers look at when asking themselves if earning seeding points is in their best interest.


WrestlerSeedResultWorldsContinentalRanking Series 
57kgAtli (TUR)1Silver25201661
57kgUguev (RUS)2Gold600060
57kgTakahashi (JPN)32-12516041
57kgSanayev (KAZ)4Bronze400040
61kg*Bonne Rodriguez (CUB)10-16016076
61kg*Aware (IND)2Bronze0162239
61kg*Lomtadze (GEO)3Gold2018038
61kg*Okhlopkov (ROU)40-10141428
65kgPunia (IND)1Bronze40201878
65kgOtoguro (JPN)25th600060
65kgKilicsallayan (TUR)32-10201232
65kgTumur Ochir (MGL)45th1801028
70kg*Batirov (BRN)11-1400040
70kg*Kaipanov (KAZ)2Silver0201636
70kg*Emamichoughuei (IRI)3Bronze0161228
70kg*Iakobishvili (GEO)45th250025
74kgChamizo (ITA)1Silver20224486
74kgBurroughs (USA)2Bronze25203479
74kgSiadakov (RUS)3Gold6001676
74kgKentchadze (GEO)40-14018058

Just like the lightweights in men’s freestyle, seeded heavyweights earned a medal just over half of the time. Returning silver medalist Fatih Erdin (TUR) was the only top seed that failed to medal. 92kg had three medalists from seeded positions and it seemed evident at 125kg that Taha Akgul (TUR) was interested in earning enough points to get on the opposite side of the bracket as his rival Geno Petriashvili (GEO). 


WrestlerSeedResultWorldsContinentalRanking Series 
79kg*Dake (USA)1Gold600060
79kg*Hasanov (AZE)2Silver4020060
79kg*Kotanoglu (TUR)30-10162036
79kg*Teymouri (IRI)40-10201030
86kgErdin (TUR)11-140182684
86kgMakoev (SVK)20-11603450
86kgYazdanicharati (IRI)3Gold2501843
86kgPunia (IND)4Silver0122638
92kg*Cox (USA)1Gold60181492
92kg*Karimimachiani (IRI)2Silver25201459
92kg*Yankouski (BLR)30-140000
92kg*Mtsituri (GEO)4Bronze0161228
97kgSnyder (USA)1Bronze40203494
97kgSadulaev (RUS)2Gold6020080
97kgUlzhsaikhan (MGL)31-116182054
97kgOdikadze (GEO)45th2516041
125kgPetriashvili (GEO)1Gold60181088
125kgDeng (CHN)25th40181977
125kgAkgul (TUR)3Silver18202864
125kgGwiazdowski (USA)40-125201257

The analysis didn’t reveal anything too surprising. I look forward to athletes prioritizing the ranking series events to build a competition “season” that culminates with the World Championships. UWW has dangled the bait, the wrestlers just have to buy into it. I hope federations begin to arrange their calendar around the events and encourage participation. I look forward to further analysis in the future as they tweak the system and more athletes prioritize seeded positions in the bracket.

The Vincenzo Joseph Wrestling Biography

A top five recruit coming out of high school, Vincenzo Joseph became another in a long line of hammers that Cael Sanderson transformed from elite high school talent to all-time college great. Joseph was also instrumental in Penn State's continued dynasty helping guide the Nittany Lions to three straight NCAA titles from 2017-2019. Before Episode 3 of WE ARE: Cael's First Decade drops Wednesday night, take a look back at Joseph's star studded career. 

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Bader Show: Quentin Wright & Zane Richards

Quentin Wright and Zane Richards

Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

On this episode of The Bader Show, Bader and Bray catch up with Quentin Wright and Zane Richards

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

King Of The Ring Duals Hammer List

null

Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

For the first time since March I'll be going to an event, in person, to watch live wrestling happen right in front of my eyes. It's a high school dual tournament in Hammond, Indiana, featuring some of the best prospects in the nation.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

The Complete Jason Nolf Wrestling Biography

null

Create a free account to unlock this video!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

Pennsylvania through and through, Jason Nolf dominated his way through high school and had no trouble continuing it at the NCAA level. Now he's trying to do the same on the Senior level. Get caught up on the complete Jason Nolf wrestling biography below.

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

What Needs To Happen For The World Championships To Occur

The Executive Board for United World Wrestling recently laid out an action plan to try to have several major events on the calendar happen before the end of 2020.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

UWW Executive Board Releases Potential Dates For World Championships

United World Wrestling has released their plan for key remaining events that still may occur by the end of 2020, with tentative dates for senior, U23 and Junior worlds.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

PD3 Has Gone From Afterthought To Distinguished

null

Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

It’s no secret that Pat Downey and the NJRTC are a match made in heaven. Both parties have widely discussed the mutual beneficiality of the relationship.

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

The Bo Nickal Wrestling Biography

null

Create a free account to unlock this video!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

Bo Nickal is one of the most prominent stars in the Penn State constellation. From his high school achievements in Texas, to his legendary run at Penn State, to his international career and beyond, this is Bo Nickal's wrestling biography, from Lone Star to We Are.

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Lewis & Marinelli Lead The Best Weight Class You Aren't Thinking About

null

Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Even if you’ve already heard the news, this is still probably going to be the best sentence you read all day: live wrestling returns to Flo on July 25 when Kyle Dake and Frank Chamizo square off right here in Austin, Texas. The stacked card also features David Taylor vs Pat Downey and Anthony Ashnault vs Luke Pletcher. 

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

FRL 517 - Downey-DT Trash Talk, 2023 Recruiting Questionnaire

517. Pat Downey-David Taylor Trash Talk

Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

On episode 517 of FRL, the boys talk Downey-Taylor trash talk, how to incentivize guys to wrestle more on the senior level, and a 2023 recruiting questionnaire.

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In