From Wikipedia,

In a few tournament sports, such as boxing, judo, taekwondo and wrestling, two bronze medals are awarded in each event – one for each eliminated semi-finalist or for the winners of the repechage brackets.

From Indian Express,

There is no bronze medal play-off in bridge sport at the Games.

both teams losing the semifinals receive bronze medals

Most events have only one bronze medal.

Why do some events have two bronze medals?

2 Answers 2


Normally in single elimination tournaments, you only have a winner and runner-up. In a format with a required third place award, there was a decision not to change the regular format, possibly because neither losing semi-finalist wants to potentially get injured in a bronze medal match or no fans want to watch it either. So the governing body decided to simply award two bronze medals instead.

  • I think this is the more probable option. All those sports are sports where you do violence to your opponent to win. So I guess in the past there was a few bronze bouts that were decided only because someone broke (or got hurt enough to not get back in the ring) something in the semifinal, losing that fight and the third place match at once. So to dodge that they decided to forgo the third place bout altogether.
    – Fredy31
    Jul 27, 2021 at 20:27

Rules have changed in the Olympics quite a bit over the years, for example in wrestling in 1996 Olympics there was only one Bronze medalist, while in later years like 2008 there would be two.

Some tournaments will have the semifinals losers play for the bronze medal spot, while other tournaments do not and end up with two bronze medalists.

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