The World Athletics Council approved a change to the regular competition format for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, introducing a repechage round to all individual track events from 200m to 1500m, including the hurdles events.
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. This will replace the traditional system of athletes advancing through fastest times (q) in addition to the top placings in the first round heats (Q).
These events will now have four rounds: round one, repechage round, semi-finals and final. Schedules will vary according to the specific nature of the event. The new format means that every athlete competing in the events with a repechage round will have at least two races at the Olympic Games.
As the 100m already has preliminary heats, before round one, the repechage will not be introduced in this event. In addition, the repechage will not be introduced in distance events as the need for proper recovery between rounds makes the format impractical.
“After consulting with our athletes and broadcasters, we believe this is an innovation which will make progression in these events more straightforward for athletes and will build anticipation for fans and broadcasters,” said World Athletics president Sebastian Coe.
“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.”
The final regulations of the format, including the timetable as well as system of advancement in each event, will be announced well in advance of the Olympic Games.
The Olympic Games at the Stade de France, in Paris-St-Denis, will be held from 02 August to 11 August 2024.