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High jumper Woo Sang-hyeok finishes 2nd in final tuneup for world championships

Aug. 7, 2023 - 09:16 By Yonhap
South Korean high jumper Woo Sang-hyeok speaks with reporters at Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul, last Friday, before departing for Germany to prepare for the World Athletics Championships. (Yonhap)

South Korean high jumper Woo Sang-hyeok has finished in second place in his final tuneup before the world championships later this month.

Woo, the reigning world silver medalist, jumped 2.28 meters for the runner-up showing at the International High Jump Meeting in Heilbronn, Germany, on Sunday.

Hamish Kerr of New Zealand also cleared 2.28m but did so in one fewer attempt than Woo to grab the gold medal.

The jumpers braved rainy conditions in Heilbronn, where the reigning Olympic champion from Italy, Gianmarco Tamberi, pulled out after just one attempt.

Woo began the competition by jumping 2.20m in one attempt. He then raised the bar to 2.25m and cleared it in two attempts.

Woo needed three attempts to get over 2.28m, while Kerr only needed two tries to do the same.

Woo's season best is 2.33m.

The 27-year-old South Korean won silver at last year's world championships, behind Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar, and will be chasing his first world title in Budapest later this month.

He is scheduled to travel to Hungary on Aug. 17, three days before the qualification for the men's high jump.

The final will begin at 7:55 p.m. on Aug. 22 in Budapest, or at 2:55 a.m. on Aug. 23.

With a podium finish, Woo would become the first South Korean athlete to own multiple medals at world championships and also the first from the country to win a medal at back-to-back worlds.

He has already expressed confidence he can win the gold medal in Hungary this month. (Yonhap)