Friday, August 19, 2016

LearnNBlog #9: Repechage

Sakshi Malik's Bronze winning effort at the Rio Games, makes it the 3rd successive Olympics in which India has got a Wrestling medal through the repechage, after Sushil Kumar in Beijing and Yogeshwar Dutt in London. In fact, repechage is fast becoming India's favorite sporting terminology.

What is Repechage?
Repechage is giving a second chance to those competitors who failed to make through the initial qualifying rounds. It is a French word meaning "rescuing" or "fishing out". 

In sporting competitions it is done to give a second chance to those strong competitors who might have been eliminated at an early stage because of the bad luck of draw. (a la Djokovic getting knocked out by del Potro in the first round of the Olympics Tennis tournament. Unfortunately there is no repechage rule in Tennis). 

There are multiple forms of repechage with different formats being used across sports.

In Olympics, it is used in the sports of Wrestling, Judo and Rowing.  Wrestling has a knock-out format with only one winner going through to the subsequent round. When the two finalists are identified, everyone who has lot to them enters the repechage rounds. The loser in the first round plays the loser in the second round. The winner of this bout takes on the losing particiapnt of the subsequent round and so on till the semi-finalist. The winner of the repechage is awarded the Bronze medals. Wrestling has two sets of repechages (one for each of the finalist).

With the repechage action, Wrestling embodies Olympic spirit. The moment you lose, you start hoping that your opponent goes on to win every successive bout and reaches the final, thus giving you a second chance.

Further Readings

Previously on LearnNBlog: Gerrymandering

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