Woo Sang-hyuk (27, Yongin City Hall) ended his Hangzhou Asian Games campaign in second place after a hard-fought battle with Mutaz Essa Barsim (32, Qatar).
Woo Sang-hyuk 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 Main Stadium in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China, on Thursday.
Barsim cleared 2.35 metres to beat Woo to his third Asian Games gold medal.
Woo, who finished 10th at Incheon 2014 as a high school student with a height of 2.20m, won silver at Jakarta-Palembang 2018 with a height of 2.28m.
After making the leap to world-class jumper at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in 2021 (fourth at 2.35m), Woo won the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade in 2022 (2.34m), finished second at the World Outdoor Championships in Eugene (2.35m) and won this year’s Diamond League Final (2.35m), creating a new history for Korean athletics.
In five years, Woo Sang-hyuk has risen from the top of Asia to become one of the world’s best jumpers, but in Hangzhou he was unable to break through the barrier of the ‘best in the game’ Varshim to win his first Asian Games gold medal.
Woo, who entered the stadium with his arms raised in the air as he was announced as the “2023 Diamond League Final Champion” by the public address announcer, cleared the bar with a flawless performance in the actual competition.
The competition started at 2.00m, but Woo passed 2.00m and 2.10m before making his first jump at 2.15m.
After clearing 2.15 on his first attempt, Woo also cleared 2.19, 2.23, 2.26 and 2.29 on his first attempt.
Barshim started the competition at 2.19m and cleared 2.23m, 2.26m and 2.29m without fail.
When the bar was raised to 2.31m, only Woo, Barsim and Tomohiro Shinno (JPN) remained.
Woo and Barshim cleared 2.31m in the first attempt, while Shinno failed the first three attempts, setting up a two-way battle for the title.
At 2.33m, Woo and Barshim were also successful in the first round.
It’s not often you see two athletes compete through 2.33m without a single failure at the World Championships.
The crack came at 2.35m.
Woo failed in the first attempt, but Barsim cleared 2.35m in the first attempt.
With no point in clearing 2.35m, Woo raised the bar to 2.37m, higher than his Korean indoor record (2.36m), on his second attempt, but failed to touch the bar.
Barshim is the ‘best jumper alive’ after winning three consecutive world titles at London 2017, Doha 2019 and Eugene 2022, and finishing joint first with Jean-Marco Tambéry (ITA) at Tokyo 2020.
At the Asian Games, he won back-to-back titles in Guangzhou in 2010 and Incheon in 2014, but missed Jakarta-Palembang in 2018 with an ankle injury.
Barshim withdrew from last month’s Diamond League Final to focus on his Asian Games preparations and won the gold medal he wanted.
Woo had a “world-class competition” with Barsim, but couldn’t get over the final hurdle.
Choi Jin-woo (18-Ulsan Sports Science High School), who competed in the final with Woo, finished 10th at 2.15m. 스포츠토토