Disclaimer, I’m not a statistician. Not even close. I’m so, so sorry to any of you who are for my lack of rigor.
The prediction here is based on the commonly-used Elo system, which tracks competitor performance in other sports like baseball, soccer, and chess. I threw together a program to calculate the odds of each competitor reaching a certain round. The percents are given, along with a color-coding (green, >50%, is likely, yellow, between 15% and 50%, is a challenge, and red <15% is unlikely).
Problems with the model: because I haven’t been tracking Elo over the entire season, theses are very crude preliminary provisional scores. I hope to track the specific Elo of each major international fencer in the coming 2014-15 season, and will have a (remarkably better) model by World Champs ’15. Other problems: this model uses a pre-seeded Table of 32 only, and fails to account for victories made by the lower half of the table of 64 into the 32. A quick assumption one can make is that those seeded 33-64 will have even lower numbers than those posted here.
Additionally, because the Elo ratings are based very heavily on FIE points standings, any inherent problems with that system (ie competitors not making events, injuries in the season, and unexpected successes or flops) will be equally notable here.
So here you have it, Todd’s 2014 World Championships Prediction, powered by science!