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Tokyo 2020, wrestling: What does repechage mean and does reaching semi-finals guarantee a medal?


While in boxing at the Olympic Games, reaching semi-finals guarantees a medal, wrestling works differently. India in the past have made the most of what is called repechage in wrestling, the most recent case being Sakshi Malik at Rio 2016. In 2008 and 2012 as well, Sushil Kumar and Yogeshwar Dutt won bronze from the repechage rounds.

Repechage in wrestling, a quick explainer:

Repechage roughly means a second chance for all wrestlers who lose against both finalists. If you lose against someone who goes on to be a finalist in your category, you become active again and will have repechage matches.

There are two separated groups of repechage: one group of wrestlers who lost against the first finalist, and another group of wrestlers who lost against the second finalist. The repechage matches begin with wrestlers who lost in the first round against one of the two finalists up until two to the losers in the semi-finals by direct elimination.

So in the case of an event starting with round of 16, the loser in that round against a finalist will fight against the loser in the quarterfinal against the finalist. The winner of that bout will fight against the loser of the semifinal for bronze. (Basically losing…

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