Usually the seeding can give us a relatively good read on each weight category, however in the -52kg and -66kg groups, the outliers are threatening to bring the blocks tumbling.
The women’s entry is incredibly strong, and within the top eight, Uzbekistan’s flag will be worn by Diyora KELDIYOROVA, however she will need to be on her ‘A’ game in order to contend with the entire Olympic podium, three of whom supersede her in the rankings. Silver and bronze medallists, Amandine BUCHARD (FRA) and Chelsie GILES (GBR) come in above as well as reigning Olympic champion, ABE Uta (JPN) who inevitably is the one to beat, the only one to defeat her in this entry is Buchard.
She will also have her hands full with the -48kg Olympic champion, Distria KRASNIQI (KOS) at #7.
Olympic champion sibling in the -66kg category, ABE Hifumi (JPN) will be vying for his third world title in Tashkent, interestingly his last defeat came at the hands of Manuel LOMBARDO (ITA) who will be competing in the category above.
Instead it will be left to a stronghold of athletes from around the world in the top eight to take down the champion, including team mate MARUYAMA Joshiro who lost out on that Olympic position in an almighty head to head.
Denis VIERU (MDA) is the top seed in the -66kg category as well as WRL #1, and with a string of success this year is positioned well to be on the podium at the very least, but joining him from the European stronghold is Vazha MARGVELASHVILI (GEO), Orkhan SAFAROV (AZE) and Baruch SHMAILOV (ISR). The strength of Asia in this weight category is a huge threat of course but there are still plenty of young athletes pushing through including current junior European champion Muhammed DEMIREL (TUR).
Author: Thea Cowen