The repechage format introduced by World Athletics for the 2024 Paris Olympics
29th Jul, 2022
World Athletics on Monday announced that they were set to introduce a repechage round in individual track events from 200m to 1500m races for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.
- The World Athletics Council ratified the decision and also made the repechage applicable for hurdles events.
- In the new repechage format, athletes who do not qualify by place in round one heats will have a second chance to qualify for the semi-finals by participating in repechage heats.
- The athletics events at the Olympics will now consist of a round one, repechage round, semi-finals and finals.
What is repechage?
- Repechage essentially means a second chance.
- If a sport has repechage, it means that the athlete will get one more chance to compete and move into further rounds and possibly the final, even if they have lost once in the initial rounds.
- In athletics, the repechage round would mean that every individual event track athlete from 200m to 1500m would race twice at the Olympics.
- According to World Athletics, the events at the Olympics would now consist of a round one, repechage round, semi-finals and finals. Repechage for the 100m race was not included because the event already has preliminary heats in place.
What are the current rules?
- According to the current rules, athletes qualify when they place at the top of their heats or post the fastest times in their heat.
The need for repechage in athletics:
- As it happens, sometimes the best athletes are not able to reach the final.
- In some cases, the sheer quality differential in certain heats would mean that an athlete could have qualified for further rounds, had they been among other athletes in their category, in a different heat.
- In some cases, rankings or conditions can all take their toll and derail the qualification process of an athlete.
- The repechage gives a second chance to those athletes. It allows the best quality on display at the final event.
Which event is it a part of currently?
- Repechage is currently part of wrestling and taekwondo at the Olympics in a similar fashion.
- For both events, if a participant loses in the first round and their opponent reaches the final, then that participant would need to wrestle against the finalists’ second-round opponent and move up to the bronze medal position.
- The bronze medal is the upper limit of the repechage in wrestling with finalists from both brackets facing each other for a gold medal match.
- Other sports like rowing and track cycling also have repechage rounds.