(Reuters) – World Athletics will introduce a repechage round in individual track events from 200 metres to 1500m at the Paris 2024 Games, the global governing body for athletics said on Monday.
The repechage round takes place after the initial qualifying rounds, and gives athletes who have failed to make the cut for the later rounds of an event a second chance at qualification.
It is already a part of the format of other Olympic sports like wrestling and taekwondo.
The introduction of a repechage round – rubber-stamped by the World Athletics Council – will also apply to hurdles events.
It will not be implemented in the 100m, which already features preliminary heats.
“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,” World Athletics said in a statement.
“This will replace the former system of athletes advancing through fastest times in addition to the top placings in the first round heats.”
World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said the decision had been taken after consultation with athletes and broadcasters.
“We believe this … will make progression in these events more straightforward for athletes and will build anticipation for fans and broadcasters,” Coe said.
“The repechage rounds will give more exposure to our sport during the peak Olympic period and will be carefully scheduled to ensure that every event on our Olympic programme retains its share of the spotlight.”
(Reporting by Aadi Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)