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Woo Sang-hyeok goes for outdoor track and field championships

Woo Sang-hyeok goes for outdoor track and field championships

Posted July. 15, 2022 08:08,   

Updated July. 15, 2022 08:08


South Korean high jumper Woo Sang-hyeok will go for the top of both indoor and outdoor track and field championships, the record held by Cuban athlete Javier Sotomayor, who is dubbed a legend of track and field.

Woo will take part in the preliminary round of the 2022 World Athletic Championships (WA), which will be held on Friday in the Hayward Field of Eugene, Oregon, the U.S. The South Korean athlete won the World Indoor Championship Title back in March by clearing 2.34 meters. If he claims atop the world rankings for the outdoor championship, Woo will be the fifth athlete in history to sweep both indoor and outdoor world championships.

Winning both the indoor and outdoor championships in the same year is a record first set by Sotomayor in 1993 and remains unbroken for 19 years. Since 2004, the Indoor Championships were held in an even-numbered year to alternate with the Outdoor Championships that switched to odd-number years. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tokyo Olympic was rescheduled to 2021, as a result of which the Indoor Championships was postponed to 2022 to avoid competing with the Olympic Games, giving Woo a chance to place his name next to legend Sotomayor. The 26-year-old athlete said he feels grateful to be mentioned with Sotomayor. “Now that I have won the Indoor Championships, I will do my best to claim a gold medal in Eugene,” said Woo. The world record of 2.45 meters set by Sotomayor in 1993 remains unbroken so far.

Some competitors of Woo are unable to compete, which increases the likelihood of Woo winning in the game. Belarus’ Maksim Nedasekau, a bronze medalist at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, is banned from international sports event as Belarus helped Russia invade Ukraine. Russia’s Ilya Ivanyuk, a world record holder of this year’s World Outdoor Championships (2.34 meters), is also barred from competing. Potential competitors of Woo include Mutaz Essa Barshim, Gianmarco Tamberi, and Shelby McEwen, who also cleared 2.33 meters at U.S. trials of Hayward Field during the in January and currently ties for second place in the outdoor records.

Bo-Mi Im bom@donga.com