World Championships Bracketology: Greco-Roman 71 kg, 75 kg, 85 kg and 98 kg

By Richard Immel, USA Wrestling | Aug. 20, 2017, 5:06 p.m. (ET)
Photo: Olympic champion and two-time World champion Artur Aleksanyan (Armenia) in the 2016 Olympic gold-medal match. Photo by Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com.

The brackets have been released for the first day of Greco-Roman action at the 2017 World Championships being held at AccorHotels Arena in Paris, France.

Weight classes competing tomorrow include 71 kg/156 lbs., 75 kg/165 lbs., 85 kg/187 lbs. and 98 kg/216 lbs.

Each bracket has been broken down into several categories to add extra insight and perspective on what fans can expect during day one of the World Championships.

Complete brackets, as well as a live stream of the event, are available to U.S. residents on Trackwrestling.com.

71 kg/156 lbs.
The favorite: Rasul Chunayev (AZE)

Potential bracket buster: Demeu Zhadrayev (KAZ)

Early match to watch: Round of 32 – Rasul Chunayev (AZE) vs. Frank Staebler (GER)

Strongest quadrant: Quadrant four boasts past World champions Rasul Chunayev (AZE) and Frank Staebler (GER), Olympic bronze medalist Shmagi Bolkvadze (GEO), Military World champion Mohammadali Geraei (IRI), World bronze medalist World bronze medalist Knut Tallroth (SWE) and University World champion Pavel Liakh (BLR).

The tough road: Shmagi Bolkvadze (GEO). Just to make the semifinals, Bolkvadze would have to beat Geraei, Tallroth and either Chunayev or Staebler. His semifinal opponent could be returning World silver medalist Daniel Cataraga (MDA).

American outlook: Things look favorable for Pat Smith in the early rounds. A win over first-round opponent Matous Morbitzer (CZE) would likely set up a second-round bout against Asian bronze medalist Nurgazy Asangulov (KGZ). Expect past World medalist Adam Kurak (RUS) in the quarters, followed by top-seed Balint Korpasi (HUN) in the semifinals. At a minimum, making the quarterfinals is key to Smith’s medal chances.

75 kg/165 lbs.
The favorite: Hyeon Woo Kim (KOR)

Potential bracket buster: Fatih Cengiz (TUR)

Early match to watch: Round of 32 – Saeid Abdvali (IRI) vs. Viktor Nemes (SRB)

Strongest quadrant: By far, quadrant one features the most medal hopefuls, with Two-time Olympic medalist Hyeon-Woo Kim (KOR), World bronze medalist Hasan Aliyev (AZE) and Olympic silver medalist Tamas Lorincz (HUN) all in the mix with several other young contenders.

The tough road: Hyeon-Woo Kim (KOR). For Kim to pick up another World title, he will have to make quite an impressive run. Kim’s road to the finals looks to be 2017 Pan American bronze medalist Angelo Marques Moreira (BRA), Aliyev, Lorincz and 2014 European champion Aleksander Chekhirkin (RUS).

American outlook: Mason Manville got perhaps the best draw for any American competing on day one. Three wins would land him in a critical quarterfinal against 2016 Junior World champion Kazbek Kilov (BLR). His best bet to earn a medal is pushing through to the semifinals where past World champion Saeid Abdvali (IRI) will likely be waiting.

85 kg/187 lbs.
The favorite: Davit Chakvetadze (RUS)

Potential bracket buster: Islam Abbasov (AZE)

Early match to watch: Round of 64 – Javid Hamzatau (BLR) vs. Metehan Basar (TUR)

Strongest quadrant: In a bracket that is spread relatively even, quadrant three appears to be the toughest to navigate with Olympic champion Davit Chakvetadze (RUS), African champion Ahmed Saad (EGY), U23 European champion Kristoffer Berg (SWE) and tough outs Azamat Kustubaev (KAZ) and Dorin Pirvan (ROU) all contending. Quadrant four also provides some depth with several European medalists and an Olympic medalist represented.

The tough road: Javid Hamzatau (BLR). Hamzatau will have to navigate five solid opponents to find a spot in the finals this year. A potential path for the Belarussian includes European silver medalist Metehan Basar (TUR), Azat Beishebekov (KGZ), European bronze medalist Nikolay Bayryakov (BUL), 2016 European runner-up Roberti Kobliashvili (GEO) and Chakvetadze.

American outlook: A first-round win over Oleksandr Shyshman (UKR) puts Ben Provisor against top-seed Viktor Lorincz (HUN). Should he get past the European champion, Provisor’s potential path to the finals would be Asian champion Hossein Nouri (IRI), followed by Olympic bronze medalist Denis Kudla (GER).

98 kg/216 lbs.
The favorite: Artur Aleksanyan (ARM)

Potential bracket buster: Dimitriy Timchenko (UKR)

Early match to watch: Round of 32 – Artur Aleksanyan (ARM) vs. Seyedmostafa Salehizadeh (IRI)

Strongest quadrant: Featuring 2014 World champion Melonin Noumonvi (FRA), European silver medalist Aliaksandr Hrabovik (BLR), U23 European champion Orkhan Nuriyev (AZE), 2013 Junior World champion Musa Evloev (RUS), 2016 Junior Asian champion Uzur Dzhuzupbekov (KGZ) and 2013 World bronze medalist Balazs Kiss (HUN), whoever emerges from quadrant four will be battle tested well before the semifinal round.

The tough road: Artur Aleksanyan (ARM). Once again, we see a favorite with a tough stretch on his potential finals road. Aleksanyan begins with Asian champion Seyedmostafa Salehizadeh (IRI), followed by a match with either 2016 University World champion Fatih Baskoy (TUR) or 2016 Junior World bronze G’Angelo Hancock (USA). He could see 2014 Military World champion Oliver Hassler (GER) in the quarterfinals, and either European champion Felix Baldauf (NOR) or 2015 World runner-up Rustam Assakalov (UZB) in the semifinals.

American outlook: Things get heated early for American G’Angelo Hancock, who will battle Baskoy for a crack at reigning Olympic champion Aleksanyan. Getting past Aleksanyan is a monstrous task, but if Hancock can, he will likely need to make the semifinals for a good shot to medal.