‘Smile Jumper’ Woo Sang-hyuk (27-Yongin City Hall) smiles broadly as he holds up the diamond-shaped trophy. Having already achieved several milestones in Korean athletics, including fourth place at the Tokyo Olympics (2.35m), the 2022 World Indoor Championships (2.34m), the Diamond League individual title (2.33m at Doha 2022) and second place at the 2022 World Championships (2.35m), Woo added a shiny new line to his CV: “Won the Diamond League Final” .Woo Sang-hyuk cleared 2.35m to take the top spot in the men’s high jump at the World Athletics Diamond League Final at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, USA, on 17 July. The Diamond League Final is the next most important event for track and field athletes after the Olympic and World Championships .Woo became the first South Korean athlete to reach the Diamond League Final, and he also took home the trophy.After the game, Woo told Yonhap News Agency, “I’m numb right now. I don’t know what words to use to express my feelings,” he said, pausing to catch his breath before adding, “Winning the Diamond League Final has been one of my lifelong goals. It feels really good,” he said. On the day, Woo cleared 2.15m, 2.20m, 2.25m, 2.29m and 2.33m in the first round. Norbert Kowielski (26-POL) and Jubon Harrison (24-USA) also cleared 2.33m, but Woo was the only jumper to go over 2.35m.Woo cleared 2.35m in the third period to seal the win. He said, “I worked really hard to prepare for this competition. To win, you also need luck, and today everything came together,” said Woo, who finished sixth (2.29m) at the World Championships in Budapest in August, “but I told myself, ‘There are a lot of competitions left’. “I told myself, ‘There are a lot of competitions left,’ and once I got away from the compulsion, my time got better,” he said, explaining the secret of his victory. National coach Kim Do-gyun, whom Woo calls his ‘benefactor’, also said, “I tried to quickly shake off the disappointment of the Budapest World Championships,” adding, “I finished third (2m31) at the Zurich Diamond League (1 September), but my performance was good. I think she had her ‘best performance of the season’ today because the pressure was off. “In fact, this year Woo struggled with injuries early in the season, including heel pain and sinus surgery. He finished second at the Diamond League in Doha in May and Florence in June, and sixth in Budapest in August, when he was looking to become the first South Korean to win back-to-back World Championship medals. However, Woo was not discouraged. “I was only disappointed on the day of the World Championships in Budapest. “After the World Championships, my remaining goals were to win the Diamond League Final and the Hangzhou Asian Games. Now that I have achieved my goal of winning the Final, I will work harder to win gold at the Hangzhou Asian Games. “The Diamond League Final will be without the ‘best jumper in the world’ Mutaz Essa Barshim (Qatar).However, he will be competing at the Hangzhou Asian Games, which kick off on 23 September and include the men’s high jump final on 4 October.” With Barshim in the competition, it will be more interesting,” said Woo. “The Diamond League Final is not the last competition of the season. I will be happy today after winning the final and tomorrow when the whole winners’ ceremony will be held, and then I will start preparing for the Asian Games again, including weight management. “On the day, Woo also secured his place at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. The standard for the Paris Games is 2.33m and the qualification period is from 1 July 2023 to 30 June 2024. Woo passed the Paris Olympic standard early.” After I passed the Paris Olympic standard of 2.33m, Coach Kim Do-gyun said, ‘You can run more comfortably now. “After passing the Paris Olympic standard, I was relieved of the pressure and was able to easily clear 2.35m,” he recalled. The Diamond League Finals will take place until the 18th.After all the competitions, the first place finishers in each event will gather for a ‘championship ceremony’. “I can only imagine the scene tomorrow. I want to enjoy this joy at the Hangzhou Asian Games and 스포츠토토존 the Paris Olympics as well,” said Woo.

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