High jumper Woo wins gold at World Athletics Championships
Olympian Woo Sang-hyeok won the men's high jump at the 2022 World Indoor Athletics Championships in Belgrade, Serbia on Sunday, becoming the first Korean to win the event.
Woo secured Korea’s first gold medal in the event after jumping 2.34 meters in the men’s high jump finals. He is the first Korean to win a world title in any athletic event.
Woo was only of one two contestants to jump 2.15, 2.20, 2.24 and 2.28 meters on his first try. Despite failing on his first two attempts at the 2.31-meter jump, Woo was able to successfully clear the 2.31-meter bar on his third attempt. Woo seemed to be back on track, jumping over the 2.34-meter bar on his first try. With the three other jumpers unable to make the jump, Woo became the first Korea to medal in the event.
Woo currently holds the Korean record of 2.35 meters, surpassing the long-standing Korean record of 2.34 meters, set on June 20, 1997 by Lee Jin-taek at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Woo is a two-time Olympian, having competed at the Rio Olympics and Tokyo Olympics. Back in 2016, Woo only managed to clear the bar at 2.26 meters, failing to reach the final. In Tokyo, Woo advanced to the final, the first Korean to advance to the finals since the 1996 Atlanta Games, where Lee finished eighth.
Not only did Woo set a new Korean record at the Olympics, he also reached new heights in the competition, finishing just outside of medal contention in fourth place.
Woo's gold medal offers an optimistic outlook on the future of Korean athletics.
BY YUN SO-HYANG [email@example.com]