‘Smile Jumper’ Woo Sang-hyuk (27-Yongin City Hall) has successfully completed his ‘experimental jump’.
He gained confidence that he can perform in international competitions starting in July.
Woo cleared 2.33 meters in the men’s high jump final at the 2023 National Athletics Championships at Jeongseon Sports Complex in Gangwon Province on Friday.
Having already regained the lead earlier this month in the World Ranking, which converts recent performances into points, Woo also moved into a tie for first place in the record category with Jubon Harrison (USA), Joel Baden (Australia) and Ilya Ivanuk (Russia).
The National Championships was Woo’s most relaxed competition of the year.
At the Asian Indoor Championships in February (where he finished second in 2.24m), he hadn’t trained enough due to a sinus infection.
Woo started the outdoor season with sinus surgery and then competed in four events in one month, including a second-place finish at the Doha Diamond League on May 6 (2.27m), a win at the KBS Cup in Yecheon on May 9 (2.32m), which doubled as a qualifier for the Hangzhou Asian Games, a win at the Yokohama Golden Grand Prix on May 21 (2.29m), and a second-place finish at the Rome-Pirenze Diamond League on June 3 (2.30m).
Competing against world-class athletes in the Diamond League and Golden Grand Prix kept him on his toes, and he hadn’t broken the Budapest World Championships standard (2.32m) until the KBS Cup.
After finishing the Rome-Pirenze Diamond League, Woo played the wrong note.
He had been training at the Jincheon Athletes’ Village for about two weeks, working with coach Kim Do-gyun to figure out the best way to convert centrifugal force into jumping force in the curved jog (running section).
After the race, Woo expressed his satisfaction with the results of his training, saying, “My optimal speed, which used to be 1-2 per 10, is now 토토사이트 close to half with intensive training.”
In the long jump, Woo barely cleared 2.33 meters, which is the joint world-leading mark this season.
Now, Woo will head to the world stage to begin his ‘harvest’.
Woo will leave Korea late on the afternoon of July 29 to compete in the Stockholm Diamond League on July 3 at 0:25 a.m. KST.
Woo will be competing against Tokyo Olympics co-gold medalists Mutaz Esa Barsim (32-Qatar) and Jean-Marco Tamberi (31-Italy), both of whom have a competitive spirit.
Woo (1,376 points), Barshim (1,365 points) and Tamberi (1,361 points) are ranked 1-3 in the world according to World Athletics.
Woo’s season’s best is 2.33 meters, but Woo is wary: “World-class athletes like Barshim and Tamberly, when they have a big meet coming up, their times go back up to where they were,” he said, adding, “Stockholm will be a precursor to the Budapest World Championships (in August).”
Woo, who has finished second at both Diamond League events this season, is also eager to win his first title since the Doha Diamond League in May last year.
A top finish in Stockholm would virtually guarantee a spot at the 2023 Diamond League Finals in Eugene, Oregon, USA, on September 16-17.
After Stockholm, Woo will travel to Thailand to prepare for the Asian Championships on Sept. 12-16.
Woo won the 2017 championships in Bhubaneswar, India, by clearing 2.30 meters.
In 2019, when he was in a terrible slump, he finished seventh at Doha, Qatar, at 2.19 meters. The 2021 edition in Hangzhou, China, was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Woo will look to win his first Asian title in six years.
Expectations are high for Woo after South Korean athletics failed to win a medal in Doha in 2019.
In fact, Woo has set his ‘body rhythm of the year’ for August and September.
The men’s high jump preliminaries for the 2023 World Championships will be held on Aug. 20 at 5:35 p.m. KST and the final on Aug. 23 at 2:55 a.m. KST.
Woo Sang-hyuk, who won Korea’s first World Championships silver medal in Eugene last July, will attempt to win the country’s first gold medal in Budapest.
He will then make another attempt to ‘conquer the world’ in the high jump at the Eugene Diamond League Finals on Sept. 16-17.
Athletics at the Hangzhou Asian Games will begin on Sept. 29.
Woo Sang-hyuk, who won silver at the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Games when Barsim was unable to compete, has a thrilling dream of beating Barsim at this year’s Hangzhou Asian Games and becoming the first Korean athlete to win gold in the men’s high jump in 21 years since Lee Jin-taek (Bangkok 1998 and Busan 2002).
Woo said: “I prepared this year to peak in August and September. “Of course, I’m still not good enough, and I find things to improve every time I compete. If I continue to have fun and prepare as fiercely as I am now, I’ll be able to perform better in the important competitions in August and September,” said Woo.