Woo Sang-hyuk’s promise to the world championships “I’ll get the gold I left behind”
Korea Athletics to become first country in history to medal at back-to-back World Championships
Woo Sang-hyuk (27, Yongin City Hall) is aiming to become the first South Korean athlete to win back-to-back World Championship medals. He is determined to conquer the podium he narrowly missed last year.
“I will bring back the gold medal that was entrusted to me,” Woo said in an interview after an open training session at the main stadium of Incheon’s Munhak Stadium.
Woo will compete at the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary. He will compete in the preliminary round on the 20th and the final on the 23rd.
Before that, Woo plans to leave for Germany on April 4 to improve his condition.
“I have to get the gold medal I didn’t win last year, the gold medal I left behind,” Woo said.
Woo won the silver medal in the men’s high jump final at the 2022 World Championships in Eugene, Oregon, USA, last year after clearing 2.35 meters. He was just two centimeters behind the winner, Mutaz Essa Barshim (Qatar), who cleared 2m37.
Despite missing out on gold, it was only the second time a South Korean athlete has won a medal at a World Athletics Championships after Kim Hyun-seop’s bronze in the men’s 20km race at Daegu in 2011.
A medal in Budapest would make him the first Korean athlete to win back-to-back medals.
“I think I brought home a silver medal because I wasn’t feeling well at the end, so that’s why I said I left it (the gold) on the table,” said Woo, who smiled as he recalled last year’s competition, “but this time I prepared as best I could.”
“I’ve gained a lot of experience. Based on my experience, it became easier to operate and prepare. I’m confident that I can manage my weight, even though people say it’s hard, but it’s easy now.”
Woo has had an up-and-down season this year. In June, he won the 2023 National Athletics Championships with a jump of 2.33 meters. He challenged for 2m37, which was higher than his own Korean record (2m36). Although she failed to surpass it, her improved form gave her confidence.
However, three attempts at 2m16 at the Stockholm Diamond League in bad weather early last month failed. Fortunately, she overcame her previous setbacks with a first-place finish of 2m28 at the 2023 Asian Athletics Championships in Bangkok, Thailand, in the middle of last month.
There were lessons learned from the setbacks.
“I was personally satisfied that I was able to jump 2m27 at the championships,” says Woo. I felt compensated and ate food without realizing it. I didn’t take good care of myself, and my immune system dropped, causing me to feel unwell,” he recalled.
“I learned my lesson and used it to refocus,” he adds.
He focused solely on training and blocked out other thoughts.
“I tend not to doubt myself. I think I’ve prepared as well as I can, so I run with the thought, ‘I’ve prepared this much and I can’t fail,'” he laughs.
He plans to reduce his current weight of 67 kilograms to 65 kilograms by the competition. Woo said, “My weight has been maintained without much pressure. I’m in good shape and my jumps are going well,” he said.
Woo’s competitors, Barshim and Jubon Harrison (USA), are still very strong.
But Woo is confident enough to not let the hype get to him. “I’m playing well right now, so I’m feeling good. In the end, it’s important to play well at the World Championships. It doesn’t hurt me if (my competitors) performed well in the previous matches,” he said, 토토사이트 adding that he has been preparing well with no regrets.