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A trial heat, especially in rowing, allowing competitors who have already lost a heat another chance to qualify for the semifinals.
[French repêchage, rescuing, repechage, from repêcher, to fish up again, rescue : re-, again (from Old French; see re-) + pêcher, to fish for (from Old French pescher, from Vulgar Latin *piscāre, from Latin piscārī; see piscatorial).]
(General Sporting Terms) a heat of a competition, esp in rowing or fencing, in which eliminated contestants have another chance to qualify for the next round or the final
[C19: from French repêchage literally: fishing out again, from re- + pêcher to fish + -age]
a trial heat for runners-up, as in rowing, to determine who will advance to the finals.
A kind of “second chance” race to allow losers from the heats an additional opportunity to qualify for the next round of the series in a progressive race.