Losing weight, improving records… Woo Sang-hyuk’s same colour, different value ‘silver leap’

After winning silver at the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games, Woo Sang-hyuk (27, Yongin City Hall) took home the same colour medal at the Hangzhou Asian Games.

However, a lot has happened in five years and Woo has become a completely different jumper.

On Thursday, he cleared 2.33m to finish second in the men’s high jump final at the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Centre in Hangzhou, East China’s Zhejiang Province.

He lost the gold medal to Mutaz Essa Barsim (32-Qatar), 온라인카지노 but Woo raised the profile of Asian athletics by giving Barsim a “world-class competition”.

While it was the same silver medal, it had a different value in 2018 when Barsim was unable to compete.

Despite the fact that Barshim was ranked at 2.35m and Woo at 2.33m, the two competed fiercely, never failing to reach 2.33m.

Looking back at what happened in the five years between Jakarta-Palembang and Hangzhou, the silver lining is even clearer.

After winning silver at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta-Palembang by clearing 2.28m, Woo cheerfully said, “I’m 22 now,” emphasising his youthfulness, “I’m going to win a medal at the World Championships in Doha in 2019 and a medal at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020”.

For a long time afterwards, however, Woo was not smiling.

His performance stagnated and he suffered a stress fracture. He didn’t even compete at the 2019 World Championships. At the time, he weighed nearly 75kg. When he competed in major competitions this year, he weighed between 65 and 67kg.

In his frustration, Kim Do-gyun, coach of the Korea Athletics Vertical Jump Team, reached out to him.

“I met him when I was really struggling. When I didn’t believe in myself, he told me, ‘Sang-hyuk, you can do better. In the hour I spent with him, I came to believe in the results of my training and myself.”

Coach Kim Do-gyun presented Woo with a mid- to long-term plan to “build a solid skill set, even if he doesn’t get a record right away.

He also enlisted in the army in March 2021 on Kim’s recommendation to avoid temptation.

“When I didn’t see results in the short term, I thought, ‘Is this the right direction?'” he said, “But Coach Kim was right.”

After setting a personal best of 2.30m in 2017, Woo’s performance stagnated until 29 June 2021, when he jumped 1cm to 2.31m.

Although he did not pass the Tokyo Olympic standard (2.33m), Woo competed in the 2021 Olympics, which were held in 2021 instead of 2020 due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, on a ‘ranking points berth’.

What followed was what every track and field fan knows as “Woo Sang-hyuk’s time.

At the Tokyo Olympics in the summer of 2021, Woo finished fourth (2.35m), South Korea’s best ever track and field result, and went on to win the 2022 World Indoor Championships (2.34m), the 2022 Outdoor World Championships (2.35m) and the 2023 Diamond League Final (2.35m).

Woo has taken Korean athletics to unimaginable heights, far from the top of the world. 슬롯게이밍

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