Reporter Kim Hee-joon = ‘Smile Jumper’ Woo Sang-hyeok (27, Yongin City Hall), who returned home after the first tournament of the year, expressed his candid feelings about starting the season at No. 1 in the world rankings, saying, “It’s heavy, but I’m enjoying it.”
Woo Sang-hyeok, who participated in the 10th Asian Indoor Track and Field Championships held in Astana, Kazakhstan, returned home via Incheon International Airport on the morning of the 14th.
Woo Sang-hyeok, who left for the United States on December 1 of last year and started off-campus training, moved to Europe and continued training before participating in the Asian Indoor Track and Field Championships.
Woo Sang-hyeok was mentioned as a strong candidate for the championship, but he failed to win the gold medal. He jumped 2m24 in the men’s high jump final at the Asian Indoor Track and Field Championships held on the 12th, taking second place after Japan’s Ryoichi Akamatsu (2m28).
Still, Woo Sang-hyeok’s expression upon entering the arrivals hall was not dark.
He said, “It was the first tournament of the new year, so I wanted to do better, but I finished in second place. It’s unfortunate, but it means that I had a good start.” The record is what you gain as you play. I think being able to exceed 2m24 is a good sign,” he smiled.
After completing the Asian Indoor Athletics Championships, Woo Sang-hyeok, who said that he had ‘another experience’ through his social network service (SNS), said, “My ultimate goal is to play well at the 2024 Paris Olympics. Until then, I experienced a lot of things, I want to feel it,” he said. “I want to play the game in both bad and good situations. So I wrote that after the tournament.”
He added, “There is no law that requires you to always be in good shape at the Olympics or World Championships.
Woo Sang-hyeok’s position starting the season is quite different from last year.
Woo Sang-hyuk made his name known on the world stage by placing fourth at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics held in 2021, but last year he was more of a challenger.
This year, he started the season with the modifier ‘World Ranking No. 1’.
Woo Sang-hyeok, who won the gold medal by jumping 2m34 at the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade, Serbia last March, won the silver medal at the 2022 Eugene Outdoor World Championships with 2m35. Woo Sang-hyeok is ranked first in the world ranking points compiled by the World Association of Athletics Federations.
Woo Sang-hyeok said, “Starting the season with the title of No. 1 in the world rankings is heavy, but I’m just enjoying it.” It’s all about playing well, so I’m going to enjoy it.”
Future plans are still undecided. After the Asian Indoor Track and Field Championships, he decided not to compete in indoor events this year. 안전놀이터
Woo Sang-hyeok said, “There is no World Indoor Championships this year, so I won’t run any more indoor competitions. The schedule for participating in outdoor competitions is being discussed with the coach and has not been decided yet.”
Woo Sang-hyeok, who has sinusitis, said, “Since last year, my sinusitis has gotten worse. It was difficult to breathe, and it also affected my playing.” .
In his first tournament of the year, he unfortunately only finished second, but Woo Sang-hyeok’s “real goal” is the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary in August and the Asian Games in Hangzhou in September.
Woo Sang-hyeok said, “I have time left for both the World Championships and the Asian Games, so I’m trying to prepare gradually. I haven’t thought deeply yet.” That is the goal,” he said.