‘Smile Jumper’ Woo Sang-hyuk (27, Yongin City Hall) has made history in Korean athletics again. He won gold at the Diamond League Final. He has also set his sights on the Hangzhou Asian Games.
Woo Sang-hyuk cleared 2.35 meters to win the men’s high jump at the 2023 SEGA Athletics Federation Diamond League Final at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, USA, on Sunday (July 17). This is Woo’s personal best (outdoors). The first South Korean athlete to reach the final, Woo also took home $30,000 (approximately $40,000) for his victory.
The Diamond League has a total of 14 tournaments a year. Players are ranked based on ranking points accumulated from 13 events, and the top six qualify for the 14th event’s final, a “king of the hill” competition. Woo Sang-hyuk, who finished fourth this year, was looking for his first medal.
The prospects were bright. Last year’s world champion and the strongest player in the field, Mutaz Essa Barshim (Qatar), and world champion Jean-Marto Tamberi (Italy) were not in the field. It was also a familiar venue for the 2014 Youth World Championships winner and last year’s World Championships silver medalist.
Woo cleared 2.15, 2.20, 2.25 and 2.29 in the first round. Woo and Jubon Harrison (24-USA) were the only athletes to clear 2.29 without fail. Woo finally moved into sole possession of first place with a clearance of 2.33m. The battle between Norbert Kowielski (26-POL) and Harrison began in earnest as the latter jumped one personal best after another. After two consecutive failures, Harrison cleared 2.33 meters in the third period.
The next height was 2.35 meters, a Korean record and a personal best that Woo Sang-hyuk had cleared at the Tokyo Olympics and last year’s World Championships. But he hasn’t cleared it this season. After failing twice in a row, Woo managed to touch the bar in the final period, just barely clearing it. Woo himself celebrated with a look of disbelief on his face. When Kowielski and Harrison failed to clear 2.33 meters in the third period, Woo sealed the gold medal.
메이저놀이터 After the World Championships and Diamond League, Woo’s eyes are now set on the Asian Games. Woo, who won silver at the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Games, will face a tough test against Barsim, the man he defeated. If Woo wins gold, it will be the first time in 21 years since Lee Jin-taek (1998 Bangkok-2002 Busan).