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High jumper Woo Sang-hyeok writes another chapter of history

High jumper Woo Sang-hyeok writes another chapter of history

Posted September. 02, 2023 08:10,   

Updated September. 02, 2023 08:10


A “Smile Jumper” Woo Sang-hyeok (27, photo) became the first Korean athlete to qualify for the WA Diamond League Finals.

Woo Sang-hyeok finished 3rd by clearing 2m31 in the last men's high jump event of the Diamond League held in Zurich, Switzerland on Friday. He added six ranking points, finished in 4th place (20 points) in the season rankings, winning a ticket to the finals, where only 1st to 6th place athletes in the men's high jump are qualified.

To advance to the finals this year, Woo had to place his name in the top 5 in this tournament. For Woo, who finished 6th at the World Championships in Budapest on the 23rd of last month, it was a critical moment as he could relive last year's nightmare when he was disqualified for the finals by being placed in 7th place (16 points – one point short) in the season rankings. Fortunately, he was in good shape that day.

“When Woo Sang-hyeok crossed 2m31 on the third try in this competition, he had a good flow. It was the most stable clear in recent times,” said Kim Do-gyun, the Korean track and field vertical jump coach. “I think he has a chance to win (even in the finals) if he consistently makes the 2m30 jump.”

The championship trophy went to Mutaz Barshim (32, Qatar), the “best jumper alive.” Barshim was the only one out of 10 participants to clear 2m35 on the 1st try, securing first place. He acquired 29 ranking points and took the top spot for the season. Barshim is also the opponent Woo Sang-hyeok has to face at the Hangzhou Asian Games, which open on Sept. 23. “For me, the challenge continues,” he said. “I will continue to work hard for the Diamond League Finals and the Asian Games.”