‘Smile Jumper’ Woo Sanghyeok 우상혁 (27, Yongin City Hall) regained the Asian Athletics Championships champion title after 6 years.
On the 15th, Woo Sanghyeok won the men’s high jump final at the 2023 Asian Athletics Championships in Bangkok, Thailand, by clearing 2.28m.
The competition started at 1.95m, and Woo Sanghyeok made his first jump at 2.15m.
Woo Sanghyeok smoothly cleared 2.15m, 2.19m, 2.23m, 2.26m, and 2.28m, all on his first attempt.
Though Anil Kumar from India and Tawan Chaeopadum from Thailand chased Woo Sanghyeok until 2.26m, they couldn’t overcome the 2.28m barrier.
Anil Kumar and Tawan Chaeopadum finished in 2nd and 3rd place, respectively, with a height of 2.26m.
After securing the victory, Woo Sanghyeok attempted 2.33m but unfortunately brushed the bar three times.
Woo Sanghyeok’s victory at the Asian Championships comes after a gap of 6 years since the 2017 Bhubaneswar, India event where he won with a height of 2.30m.
In the challenging slump during the 2019 Doha, Qatar Championships, Woo Sanghyeok finished joint 7th with a height of 2.19m. The 2021 Hangzhou, China event, originally scheduled, was canceled due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Korean athletics also achieved its first Asian Championship gold medals in 6 years since the 2017 Bhubaneswar event when Woo Sanghyeok won in men’s high jump and Jung Hye-Rim (Gwangju City Hall) won in women’s 100m hurdles.
In the 2019 Doha Championships, Korea failed to secure more than one medal, but this year’s event saw a breakthrough as Korea won two bronze medals in men’s 400m relay (Lee Si-Mon, Ko Seung-Hwan, Shin Min-Kyu, Park Won-Jin) and men’s triple jump (Kim Chang-Woo), ending the no-medal streak. Woo Sanghyeok’s victory once again ignited the golden touch.
Woo Sanghyeok is considered a “world-class top jumper.”
Mutas Essa Barshim (Qatar), known as the “best active high jumper,” who achieved a three-time consecutive victory in the World Championships, was notably absent from this year’s event.
After finishing 4th with a height of 2.35m at the Tokyo Olympics on August 1, 2021, Woo Sanghyeok catapulted himself as a “world-class jumper.”
In 2022, he secured the victory at the World Indoor Championships in March (2.34m) and achieved 2nd place at the Outdoor World Championships in July (2.35m). This year, he continues to dominate the World Ranking with a solo 1st place (1,376 points) and shares the top position in the record rankings (2.33m).
However, before coming to Bangkok, Woo Sanghyeok faced his first challenge of the season.
In May, he earned 2nd place at the Doha Diamond League (2.27m) and won the Yecheon KBS Cup on May 9, which also served as the Asian Games representative selection trial (2.32m). He followed it up with a victory at the Yokohama Golden Grand Prix on May 21 (2.29m), another 2nd place at the Rome/Florence Diamond League on June 3 (2.30m), and a 1st place finish at the Jeongseon National Athletics Championships on June 25 (2.33m), demonstrating his dominance in this year’s outdoor season.
However, in the Stockholm Diamond League on the 3rd, he struggled to overcome the heavy rain and failed to clear 2.16m in three attempts, finishing the competition without a mark.
In Bangkok, Woo Sanghyeok completely shook off his disappointing performance in Stockholm.
He arrived in Bangkok on the 17th and will continue his preparation for the Budapest World Championships in August and the Asian Games in Hangzhou, starting in September, aiming for victory. 토토사이트