Woo Sang-hyeok “Starting with 2m27… Exceeding 2m30, 2m35 and even a new Korean record”
‘Smile Jumper’ Woo Sang-hyeok (27, Yongin City Hall) finished second in Doha, the opening game of the 2023 World Athletics Federation Diamond League, and looked sad. Let’s run with a hungry spirit,” he said with a laugh.
Woo Sang-hyeok also replied with his signature smile, “I will train hard while having fun again.”
On the 6th (Korean time), in the Doha Diamond League men’s high jump held at Suhaim Bin Hamad Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Woo Sang-hyeok surpassed 2m27 and took second place after Jubon Harrison (24, USA) who jumped 2m32. Mutaz Esa Barsim (31, Qatar), ‘the best active jumper’, finished third with 2m24.
In the first outdoor game he participated in this year, Woo Sang-hyeok earned 7 qualifying points and 6,000 dollars (approximately 8 million won) of prize money required to participate in the Diamond League Final Series. Harrison, who placed first, received 8 points and a prize of 10,000 dollars (approximately 13.3 million won).
Reaching second place in the Diamond League competition, where the world’s best players compete, is a tremendous achievement.
However, considering the history of Woo Sang-hyeok, who took first place by jumping 2m33 at the competition held here last year, won the 2022 World Indoor Championships (2m34), and ranked second at the outdoor world championships (2m35), this year’s results leave a lot to be desired.
Coach Dokyun Kim said, “We placed second in the Diamond League, not in domestic matches. Since when did we guarantee first place in international competitions?” “Isn’t it important to train happily, acknowledge the results, and train happily again? “, encouraged Woo Sang-hyeok.
Woo Sang-hyeok, who understood Coach Kim’s mind, said in a phone call with Yonhap News after the game, “I always compete with the goal of winning. However, even if I do not finish first, I am motivated.” There is only one back. I will try harder and aim for the championship again.”
On this day, Woo Sang-hyeok played more cautiously than usual.
Woo Sang-hyeok, who felt heel pain in October of last year, almost recovered from the injury, but could not stamp his feet as strongly as last season for fear of his recurrence.
Coach Kim Do-gyun said, “I measured the ground reaction force during training in Jeju Island, but the number did not come out as much as last year. I feel pain in my feet intermittently.” It’s the same. I haven’t come up with a sense of actual combat yet,” he explained.
Although he fell short of his own best (indoor/outdoor 2m35), Woo Sang-hyeok and coach Kim also found some positives.
Woo Sang-hyeok said, “I will try to fix the problems I found after failing three times at 2m32.” “I can’t exceed 2m40 from the first game. Today I surpassed 2m27, so next time I will exceed 2m30 and challenge 2m33 and 2m35. That’s the record. We will aim to achieve a new Korean record (2m36 combined indoor and outdoor) by increasing the .
Woo Sang-hyeok returns to Korea on the afternoon of the 7th and participates in the KBS Cup, which also serves as a selection match for the Hangzhou Asian Games held in Yecheon on the 9th.
The following is a Q&A with Woo Sang-hyeok.
— Started the outdoor season at the Doha Diamond League.
▲ Although the record was unfortunate, he still made it to the podium. If you keep climbing the podium, you can stand at the highest place. From the first match, it cannot exceed 2m40. Today I surpassed 2m27, so next time I will challenge 2m30, 2m33 and 2m35. We will aim to achieve a new Korean record by raising the record like that.
— It is also a great achievement to place second in the Diamond League, where the world’s best players compete. But now, if you miss the championship, the fans will regret it. Watching Woo Sang-hyeok, Korean fans’ eyes level has risen.
▲ Is that so? (Laughs) We always compete with the goal of winning. However, even if we don’t win first place, it motivates us. All players try to win, but only one person comes out on top. I will work harder and try to win again.
— Did the aftereffects of the injury get in the way?
▲ During the National Sports Festival last October, the condition of the ankle and heel was not good. He has recovered to about 90 now when he was 100 at his best, but psychologically he doesn’t seem to have fully recovered. When I stomped my feet to take off, I became cautious without even realizing it. I jumped with a different feeling than when I was training in Jeju Island. Today, I will try to fix the problems I found when I challenged 2m32 and failed three times.
— There is a jinx that doesn’t come out well in the first game.
▲ I try to shake off that jinx quickly. If you play like you did in training, your records will come out well. I always make up my mind to ‘let’s do it like we did in training’, but there are times when it doesn’t go well in the first game. Still, as I played today’s game, I got closer and closer to what I looked like when I was training. You can’t always be number one. Still, it’s important to stay at the top. It’s unfortunate that we missed out on winning, but it’s fortunate that we finished in the top ranks.
— Following last year’s Doha tournament, he defeated Barsim, the ‘best player in active duty’, this year as well.
▲ I felt that ‘even a player like that loses sometimes’. (Laughter) But, Barshim will become stronger as he plays. At the World Championships in Budapest in August and the Asian Games in Hangzhou in September, there is no way that Barshim will compete in the same physical condition as today. Barsim is a player who has won three consecutive world championships. He has competed in bigger competitions more often than any other high jumper ever, and won many championships. He will definitely perform at his best again in the majors. I will prepare hard for the rest of the time so that I can compete with Barshim for the championship.
— Harrison’s performance was outstanding.
▲ Harrison was sluggish at the beginning of the season last year, but posted a good record in the second half of the season, including a 2nd place (2m34) in the Diamond League Final Series. Harrison is a young player. He does many sports, but experience is important for him in the high jump. He also won medals at the 2022 World Indoor Championships and Outdoor World Championships, competing in many competitions since the 2021 Tokyo Olympics (4th place in 2m35). Harrison has yet to win a medal at a major tournament, but he will soon be on the podium in a big event. Of course, I want to beat Harrison at the 2024 Paris Olympics. he must win
– Last year, he played in only three Diamond League individual matches and failed to advance to the Finals Series by one point.
▲ The only regret in 2022 was the failure to advance to the final series. This year, I will make as many appearances in the Diamond League as possible to advance to the Final Series. Even if you win the individual series of the Diamond League, you will not receive a medal. If you win the Finals Series, you receive the Diamond League trophy. That trophy is really pretty. I really want to get my hands on it.
— They say Spike is still working on it.안전놀이터
▲ I am consulting with Puma. He is also getting used to the new spike. A strong wind blew in Doha today, so many players were eliminated early on. With that in mind, the first outdoor game of the year seems to have gone well. Spikes, sense of game, etc. I am smoothly adapting to everything.
— Immediately after returning home, on the 9th, in Yecheon, we will play the KBS Cup, which also serves as the representative selection match for the Hangzhou Asian Games.
▲ When leaving the country, ‘I will not return in a depressed mood. I will go back with a smile,’ he said. Although there are regrets left behind, I will shake it off and prepare for the next game. A lot of Korean fans came to the Doha Stadium today. Thank you so much. We will also show a good image to our fans in Korea.