Indian wrestler Anshu Malik got a second life in Tokyo Olympics 2020 as she made the repechage round.
She was beaten by European champion Irina Kurachikina in the opening round of the women's 57 kg match. However, she is still in contention for the bronze medal thanks to the same opponent who beat her in opening round.
This is because she is into the repechage round courtesy Kurachikina making it to the final.
So what is a repechage?
The term repechage is derived from the French word repecher, as per Olympics website. In English, it means rescue. So through a repechage round, a wrestler despite losing the first round can still end up with a medal in wrestling at Games.
Very simple explanation. The second chance is given to those losing wrestlers whose opponent goes on to play the final. So if wrestler A beat wrestler B, and went on to win the semi-finals, then B automatically gets selected for repechage.
The reason behind giving another chance to the wrestler is that just because he/she was paired with a strong contender in the draw, they should not be penalised and given another chance. The rule was introduced first in 2008 Beijing Games.
How does it work?
The loser of the first round against one of the finalists battles with the wrestler who lost against the same finalist in one of the later rounds. Let's say, the two finalists are A and B. The wrestler who lost in Round of 16 to finalist A will take on wrestler who lost in quarters to finalist A, in repechage. The winner of this repechage round will meet loser of the semis for bronze medal. Same for the wrestlers who lost to finalist B. There are always two bronze medal matches in wrestling.
Anshu, if she goes on to win the bronze, would not be the first Indian to win it via repechage. Earlier Sushil Kumar, Yogeshwar Dutt and Sakshi Malik have also clinched bronze through the same process.