High jump sign Sang-hyeok Woo, embarks on a real challenge towards the top of the world

Woo Sang-hyuk, the leader of the Korean men’s high jump, is the first Korean athlete to compete in the IAAF Diamond League as an invited player to win the championship. In the photo, Woo Sang-hyeok cheers after jumping over 2m35 at the Tokyo Olympics last year. news

The Diamond League was founded in 2009 by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). A total of 14 competitions are held from May to September by inviting only the top players in each event. Ranking points in 13 competitions determine the ‘final winner’ in the 14th competition, which is a ‘championship’. The winner of each contest will receive $10,000, and the final finisher will receive $30,000. It was not easy to see Korean players in this Diamond League. Men’s 100 Joshua and 400 Lim Chan-ho participated in the 2014 Doha Games, but at that time, it was a competition that gave Asian players an additional opportunity to participate. No Korean player has yet been officially invited to the Diamond League because of their performance alone.

‘Smile Jumper’ Woo Sang-hyeok (26, Armed Forces Athletic Corps) enters the Diamond League as Korea’s first ‘invited player’ in track and field, and begins his leap toward the top of the world. Woo Sang-hyuk will compete in the men’s high jump for the first time in the 2022 Diamond League series to be held in Doha, Qatar, at 1:15 am on the 14th. The Diamond League, which organized the men’s high jump this year, is Doha, Birmingham, England (May 22), Rome, Italy (June 10), Monaco (August 10), and Lausanne, Switzerland (August 27). There are six competitions, including Zurich, Switzerland (September 8-9). Woo Sang-hyuk will first compete in Doha and Birmingham.

The Diamond League is also a dream-like stage for Woo Sang-hyuk. Prior to leaving Doha on the 11th, he said, “I watched the Diamond League 10 years ago and thought, ‘I want to play on that stage someday'” and “Finally, I was invited too. It is an honor to participate,” he said.

What is even more meaningful is that Woo Sang-hyeok is not merely interested in participating in the competition, but is challenging for the championship. Woo Sang-hyeok, who emerged as a world-class jumper by surpassing 2m35 in last year’s Tokyo Olympics and finishing fourth, has grown one step further in 2022. He set a new Korean record of 236 in the Czech Republic on February 6, and won the World Indoor Athletics Championships in Belgrade, Serbia in March with 234. It was the first major championship win for a Korean track and field athlete. Having climbed to the top of the world rankings in indoor games, he surpassed 232 in two outdoor games held in Korea and climbed to the top of the world rankings in this category as well.

Jean-Marco Tamberi (Italy, left) and Mutaz Essa Basim (Qatar) pose for a commemorative photo after winning a joint gold medal in the men’s high jump at the Tokyo Olympics last year. Reuters Yonhap News

In the Doha Diamond League, Woo Sang-hyeok will fight for the first place with Mutaz Essa Bashim (31, Qatar) and Gianmarco Tamberi (30, Italy), who are the strongest active players and who won joint gold medals by passing 237 at the Tokyo Olympics. seems to be Bashim, who also won the World Championships in London in 2017 and Doha in 2019, is a Qatari track and field hero who also holds the record for second place with a record of 243. This is also his first competition this year. Tamberry, who rose to the top level by winning the 2016 World Indoor Championships, holds the best record of 239, but gave up the title to Woo Sang-hyeok at the World Indoor Championships last March. In this tournament with a total of eight players, in addition to Bashim and Tamberry, Jubon Harrison (USA) and Brandon Stark (Australia) are also considered players to pay attention to.

After completing the Doha and Birmingham tournaments, Woo Sang-hyeok returns to Korea and prepares for the World Championships in Eugene, Oregon, USA in July. After the World Championships, he is expected to compete again in the Diamond League to challenge for the ‘final win of the series’.

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