‘Smile Jumper’ Woo Sang-hyuk (27, Yongin City Hall) has made history in South Korean athletics by winning the World Athletics Diamond League Final.
Woo Sang-hyuk cleared 2.35 meters to win the men’s high jump at the World Athletics Diamond League Finals 2023 at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, USA, on Sunday (July 17). Woo became the first Korean athlete to lift the diamond-shaped trophy, and he also took home $30,000 (about 40 million Korean won) in prize money.
The Diamond League Finals is a best-of-three championships for the top six athletes based on ranking points accumulated in 13 separate competitions (six high jump events) held in various cities around the world throughout the year. Woo Sang-hyuk competed in four competitions and earned 20 ranking points, qualifying for the final in fourth place. However, the ‘strongest man alive’ Mutaz Esa Barsim (32-Qatar) has withdrawn. After struggling with back and ankle injuries in 2017, it is believed that he is limiting his competition ahead of the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games. 메이저놀이터
Woo took the lead on the day with clearances of 2.15m, 2.20m, 2.25m, 2.29m and 2.33m in the first round. Norbert Kowielski (26-POL), who failed once at 2.25 and 2.29, also cleared 2.33, while Jubon Harrison (24-USA) put pressure on Woo by clearing the same height in the third period.
The match was decided at the next height. Woo roared after clearing 2.35 meters in three attempts, but Kowielski and Harrison failed. Kowielski finished second and Harrison third.
Woo also qualified for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. The standard for the Paris Games is 2.33 meters, which will be accepted from July 1, 2023 to June 30, 2024.
Woo’s next goal is a gold medal at the Asian Games in Hangzhou, where the final will be held on October 4. At the Asian Games, he will have to compete against Barsim. “Running with Barsim creates the right amount of tension,” said Woo, “and I think it will be more fun to compete at the Hangzhou Asian Games with Barsim.”