Chosen because of the upcoming Olympics. Among Olympic sports, it's used only in rowing and cycling that I know of, though fencing formerly did as well -- Wikipedia has examples from other sports. The word was borrowed from in 1928 from French repêchage, second chance, especially in the sense of a reexamination for a candidate who has failed, from repêcher, to fish out, rescue, from re- again + pêcher, to fish, from Latin piscārī, from of piscis, fish. Which makes it all appropriate for rowing.
Has any winner of the repechage gone on to win the gold medal?