This is the ‘Smile Jumper’. Even when he’s challenging for the top spot in Asia – and indeed the world – he never loses his smile.
When the tension builds, he turns to the crowd.
He claps his hands above his head and encourages them to join in. His smile seems to fill the 80,000-seat stadium built for the opening ceremony.
Warmed up, he quickly puts his feet to work and sprinted. And he clears the bar.
That’s how Woo Sang-hyuk (27, Yongin City Hall) cleared the bar at 2.33 meters in the men’s high jump final at the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games on Thursday at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center Stadium in Hangzhou, China.
However, he was unable to clear the final barrier (2.35 meters) for gold. He finished second. It was his second consecutive Asian Games silver medal after winning in Jakarta-Palembang in 2018.
Woo was full of confidence even before the start of the race. He was the first to be called and entered the arena with a bright smile on his face.
His movements were light. After checking his fitness in the preliminaries, Woo easily cleared 2.15 meters on his first attempt and got off to a good start. It was a refreshing jump.
The problem was a strong competitor, Mutaz Esa Barsim (32-Kat).
When Barsim, the Tokyo Olympics gold medalist (tied for first) and defending champion in Guangzhou 2010 and Incheon 2014, stepped onto the field, the stadium seemed to warp in dimension.
He wasn’t just “elongated” or “light,” his body didn’t feel bulky. He didn’t seem to have three dimensions. It looked like it was made for high jumping.
Varshim had been sharpening for this competition. He didn’t even compete in the Diamond League Finals that preceded the Asian Games.
He was determined to put the disappointment of missing the Asian Games due to injury in 2018 behind him.
On the day, Barshim cleared 2m35 without a single failure, tying the Asian Games record he set in Incheon in 2014. However, he failed to clear 2.37 meters in three attempts. 안전토토사이트
Woo Sang-hyuk’s bid to win the Asian Games came to an end after his fourth-place finish in Tokyo.
But not all of Woo’s challenges are over.
For Woo, the upcoming Paris 2024 Olympic Games are especially important.
What’s more, Woo showed a clear improvement in this competition.
This is the same medal he won in 2018, but back then, he was without Barshim due to injury. .
Woo’s mark of 2.28 meters back then was the fourth-best in Hangzhou.
Despite failing to reach the top of the podium at the Asian Games for the first time in 21 years, Woo’s jump is a reason to keep going.
Meanwhile, up-and-comer Choi Jin-woo (18-Ulsan Sports Science High School), who is considered the “second Woo Sang-hyuk,” finished 10th with a jump of 2.15 meters.
The 10th place finish was also Woo’s best in Incheon in 2014, when he was a high school student.