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Wednesday, 17 August 2016
CONGRATS SAKSHI FOR WINNING INDIAS FIRST MEDAL IN OLYMPICS-https://www.facebook.com/ gajanan.gaikwad/videos/ 10157211696135459/
BEST WISHES TO PV SINDHU & WRESTLERS FOR THEIR FORTHCOMING MATCHES
It has been quite a disappointing campaign for the Indian brigade so far at the Rio Olympics 2016. An all-time large contingent that had departed for the Brazilian venue carrying expectations of a double-digit medal tally stands reduced to a paltry 28 at the end of Day 10, with zero medals to show for all their exploits.
However, the positive change of fortunes that one-and-a-quarter billion people are so desperate to witness might just be right around the corner as wrestling, a traditional favourite sport in India, has flagged off at the Carioca Arena 2 in Rio. Our wrestlers have fetched three Olympic medals from the past two editions, the first being Sushil Kumar’s Beijing 2008 bronze, followed by his silver and Yogeshwar Dutt’s bronze medal at the London Games in 2012.
Also Read: Rio Olympics 2016: Indian wrestlers to compete across all three formats for the first time
Let us now take a look at the wrestling tournament format and how it could give a boost to India’s medal hopes as we approach the last lap of Rio 2016:
Eight Indian wrestlers qualified for the Rio Olympics featuring in each of Men’s Freestyle, Women’s Freestyle and Men’s Greco-Roman competitions. On the opening day, Ravinder Khatri bowed out to Hungarian Viktor Lorincz in the Round of 16 of Men’s Greco-Roman 85 kg.
But Khatri would have still been in with a shot at bronze had Lorincz earned a place in the gold-medal bout. Such a scenario is allowed by the Repechage system that is meant to provide the top contenders who get eliminated in the earlier rounds with a fair chance to make the podium.
Every wrestler who’s been defeated by the two eventual finalists during the knockouts, participates in the repechage rounds – with two bronze medals, one for each finalist’s best rival – up for grabs. To explain this, Yogeshwar’s 2012 Olympic Bronze would serve as the perfect example:
Yogi had been eliminated as early as the Round of 16 in the Men’s 60kg Freestyle wrestling by Besik Kudukhov of Russia, who then went on to take silver after reaching the finale. Contesting in the first round of Repechage, the Indian first faced Puerto Rican Franklin Gomez – who Kudukhov had ousted in the qualifiers.
Edging past Gomez, Yogeshwar squared off against Kudukhov’s quarter-final opponent Masoud Esmaeilpour of Iran in the Repechage Round 2, for a place in the bronze medal match. A victory in that bout sealed Yogeshwar's place in the bronze medal match from Kudukhov’s half of the draw, where he overpowered Ri Jong-Myong of North Korea to secure India’s second wrestling medal at London 2012.
Layout of the Repechage System in Wrestling
In the above diagram, assume 1 and 16 made it to the finals.
-> Those who lost to 1 and 16 (2,3,5 and 15,13,9) respectively have been circled, and they will compete separately for the bronze.
-> So all the red circled players will compete separately for a bronze, and all the blue circled players will compete for another bronze.
-> The bronze competitors will fight in this manner: 2 and 3 will play a match; if 2 wins, he will play with 5. Whoever wins the match between 2 and 5, wins the bronze. Similarly, 15 and 13 will play a match; if 15 wins, he will play with 9. Whoever wins the match between 15 and 9 wins the second bronze.
It follows that the higher the round in which a wrestler loses to a finalist, the better it would be for him; if he loses in the semifinal, he only has to win one more bout to win bronze. However, it doesn't make any difference whether you lose in the Round of 16 or the quarterfinal to the eventual finalist; in either case, you have to win two more bouts to win the bronze.
The Repechage system has helped an Indian wrestler win a medal once in the past. Will it come to the aid of our wrestlers again in Rio? Most Indian fans would be hoping that the Repechage system doesn't come into play at all; it would be better, after all, if the wrestlers fight for silver or gold by making it to the final