Woo Sang-hyuk, the “Smile Jumper,” and Park Hye-jeong, the “Second Rose of Korea,” were on top of the world last week. Woo Sang-hyuk became the first Korean athlete to win the Diamond League Final, while Park Hye-jung took home three gold medals at the World Weightlifting Championships, topping the lifting total.
As Team Korea looks to finish third overall at the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games, which begin on Aug. 23, Woo will compete for gold against world champion Essa Barshim (Qatar), while Park could also win gold if she can break through the barrier of China’s top-ranked Li Wenyuan.
Woo Sang-hyuk cleared 2.35 meters to win the men’s high jump at the 2023 World Athletics Diamond League Final on Sunday at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, USA. It was the first time a South Korean athlete had ever competed in the event, which features only six athletes with the best seasonal performances. “I will enjoy the joy of winning the Diamond League Final for a while, but I will continue to prepare for the Asian Games, including weight management,” Woo said after his victory 바카라사이트.
Woo will be competing for his first gold medal at the Asian Games.
After finishing 10th at Incheon 2014, Woo won a silver medal at Jakarta 2018. Since then, however, he has made the leap to world-class status and has established himself as a gold medal contender.
Woo’s toughest opponent will be Mutaz Barshim.
The three-time world champion is an absolute powerhouse, having won gold at the Asian Games in 2010 and 2014. He missed the 2018 Games, where Woo won silver, due to injury. Hangzhou will be the first time they will compete on equal footing.
If Woo wins, he will become the first Korean to win gold in 21 years after Lee Jin-taek (1998 and 2002). The men’s high jump at the Hangzhou Asian Games will be held next month with preliminaries on February 2 and the final on February 4.
Women’s weightlifting star Park Hye-jung has also been dominating the world stage.
Park won three titles in the women’s 87kg and above category at the 2023 World Weightlifting Championships in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, last week, lifting 124kg in the lift, 165kg in the snatch and 289kg in the total. It’s been two years since a South Korean athlete won the women’s heaviest weight class at a world championship since Son Young-hee won the title in Tashkent in 2021. At that time, powerhouse China was not represented.
It is also the first time a South Korean athlete has ever won three events at the same tournament. Jang Jang-ran, a four-time world champion, also failed to win a gold medal in Yilan.
Park now has her sights set on Asian Games gold. However, she will be challenged by China’s Li Wenyuan. Li Wenyuan, who holds three world records (148 kilograms in the vault, 187 kilograms in the beam, and 335 kilograms in the total), is also the Tokyo Olympic champion. He withdrew from the World Championships after failing both the first and second periods of the lift, but it was still his strongest gold medal performance.
It will be interesting to see how Park Hye-jeong will fare against Lee Won-won in the Shingu battle.