The challenge of ‘Smile Jumper’ Woo Sang-hyeok (27, Yongin City Hall), who was the first Korean athlete to win medals at the world championships twice in a row, ended unfortunately. Now, his eyes are on the Hangzhou Asian Games (AG).

On the 23rd (Korean time), Woo Sang-hyeok surpassed 2m29 in the men’s high jump final at the 2023 World Championships in Athletics held at the National Stadium in Budapest, Hungary, and finished 6th. Woo Sang-hyeok, who won the silver medal at the last competition, took the final stage in 4th place (2m28) in the preliminaries, but was blocked by the 2m33 and 2m36 walls and was unable to stand on the podium. Considering his personal record (2m35 outdoor, 2m36 indoor), it was a result that left much to be desired.

Woo Sang-hyeok, who started the match at 2m20 that day, surpassed both 2m25 and 2m29 in the first round. He showed confidence by arousing excitement with his signature ceremony, but his steps were twisted after failing to pass 2m33 in the first round. When the winning candidates succeeded in the first round of 2m33, he raised the bar to 2m36 and made two more attempts. However, all of them could not cross it and finished the final with 2m29. The high jump is over if the athlete fails three times in a row.

The championship was won by Jean Marco Tamberry (Italy). Tambury, who succeeded in 2m36 with Jubon Harrison (USA), won the gold medal ahead of time. Mutaz Esa Barsim (Qatar), who was aiming for a fourth consecutive victory, came in third with a record of 2m33. Barsim, who succeeded in the first round of 2m29 and 2m33, failed three times in a row in 2m36. His personal record is 2m43 outdoors.

Woo Sang-hyeok, who finished the world championship, is scheduled to participate in the Diamond League to be held in Zurich, Switzerland on September 1st. Woo Sang-hyeok, who currently has 14 Diamond League points (5th place), will advance to the Diamond League Finals on his own if he adds 5 points at the Zurich tournament. In the Diamond League, points are differentiated for each tournament ranking, and the top 6 players in the total score advance to the final stage. This year’s Diamond League Finals will be held in mid-September in Eugene, Oregon, USA.안전놀이터

After the Diamond League Finals, I head straight to Hangzhou. The Hangzhou AG men’s high jump final will be held on October 4. If Sang-hyeok Woo defeats Barshim, the candidate for the championship, it will mark a new milestone in Korean track and field history. The last time Korean athletics won a gold medal in the AG men’s high jump was Lee Jin-taek at the 2002 Busan Games. The key is condition. Woo Sang-hyeok’s season best was 2m33 at the 77th National Track and Field Championships last June. He was only 2m28-29 in most competitions after that. It is expected that it will be important how far he can improve his performance in the Diamond League.

Woo Sang-hyeok said, “Thank you so much for your support. Unfortunately, I placed 6th, but I will use it as nourishment for next year’s Paris Olympics and work harder. Next week, I will work hard to make a leap forward at the Diamond League Zurich and Finals, and the Hangzhou Asian Games. I will do my best,” he said.

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