High jumper Woo Sang-hyeok driven by bittersweet bronze medal from indoor event

High jumper Woo Sang-hyeok poses with the bronze medal he won at the World Athletics Indoor Championships in Glasgow, Scotland, after landing at Incheon International Airport, Tuesday. Yonhap

During his rise through the ranks in international high jumping over the past three or so years, Woo Sang-hyeok hasn’t just been clearing bars on the track. He has also set a fairly high bar, a metaphorical one, for himself. It has reached a point where earning a bronze medal at the World Athletics Indoor Championships, as the South Korean athlete did Sunday in Scotland, is considered a disappointment. Before Woo won the title in 2023, no South Korean athlete had even come close to the podium in the world indoor event. Times have changed, and Woo said Tuesday he is able to manage expectations. “Personally, I am disappointed that I didn’t win the gold medal this time, but it’s a huge source of motivation for me to keep reaching the podium,” Woo told reporters at Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul, after returning from Scotland. “I will use this as fuel to go for a gold medal next time. And I could always use a wake-up call as I prepare for the Olympics (in Paris this summer).”In Glasgow, Woo finished third after clearing 2.28 meters, short of his season-best mark of 2.33. Hamish Kerr of New Zealand won the gold medal with the new world-leading height of 2.36.Woo insisted he hadn’t suffered any injury — “It would have been devastating, given all the work I’ve put in so far this year,” Woo said — but it happened to be one of those days when he simply wasn’t at his best. “I knew I didn’t have it that day,” Woo said. “It was the first time in quite a while that I didn’t feel 100 percent. I felt great going into this competition, but there was nothing I could do about how I felt that particular day.”

Woo barely avoided an early elimination in the final, needing the maximum three attempts to clear 2.24m. He said he had to battle tooth and nail to will himself onto the podium .”I know how to get the best out of myself even when I am not feeling great, and I think it allowed me to finish with a medal this time,” Woo said. “I kept wondering, ‘What if this was happening at the Olympics?’ I wasn’t going to give up. I still had to jump no matter what .”Woo said competing in such less-than-ideal circumstances was a valuable experience. “I learned how to perform to the best of my abilities even when I am not in great form,” Woo said. “I stored that bit of memory and came home feeling pretty good about myself. I think I would have felt a bit depressed if I hadn’t won a medal there.” While Woo and the eventual silver medalist, Shelby McEwen of the United States, were considered title favorites in Glasgow, Kerr came out of nowhere to soar to his first world indoor title. Kerr was perfect early on while Woo and McEwen needed multiple attempts just to stay alive.

“Anything can happen and anyone can win, especially in the year of the Olympics,” said Woo, who himself surprised the high jump world by finishing fourth at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021. “It happened to be Hamish that day, and it could be someone else the next time .”Woo said, though, he doesn’t paid much mind to the records of other jumpers .”This is an individual sport, and when I start getting conscious of what others do, it will affect my performance,” Woo said. “My goal is to improve my record prior to the Olympics and make other jumpers feel nervous.” Woo reiterated his goal of winning an Olympic gold, saying, “I might as well aim high.” He believes it will take 2.37m to do that .It was the winning mark at the Tokyo Olympics. Woo said he has cleared 2.37m in training, and the next step will be to do it in competition.” Good practice sessions haven’t always meant good results in competition,” Woo said. “I want to bear down even more in training and try to replicate some of the positive feelings in competition. That’s the biggest task left 카지노사이트킹 for me

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