One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
(in rowing and other sports) a contest in which the best-placed of those who failed to win heats compete for a place in the final.
- ‘During the 2007 Rugby World Cup qualification, there were two repêchage positions available for the finals tournament.’
- ‘Other competitors with the best times may also qualify for the next round indirectly as "fastest losers" as a result of the repêchage.’
- ‘In fact at the Sydney Olympics they were out after the repêchage.’
Early 20th century: French, from repêcher ‘fish out, rescue’.
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