In this AFP photo, Woo Sang-hyeok of South Korea (C) celebrates after winning gold in the men's high jump at the World Athletics Indoor Championships at Stark Arena in Belgrade on March 20, 2022. (Yonhap)
South Korean high jumper Woo Sang-hyeok captured a historic gold medal at the world indoor championships in Belgrade on Sunday, becoming the first athlete from the country to win a world title in any track and field event.
Woo cleared 2.34 meters to top the field of 12 jumpers at the World Athletics Indoor Championships at Stark Arena in the Serbian capital.
Loic Gasch of Switzerland took the silver at 2.31m, while Hamish Kerr of New Zealand and Gianmarco Tamberi of Italy shared a bronze. The two also cleared 2.31m but did so in one more attempt than Gasch.
Woo started his final by clearing 2.20m, 2.24m and then 2.28m.
Only he and Gasch jumped over 2.28 without failing.
Woo twice failed to clear 2.31m but did so on his third attempt. Then he soared over his winning height in just one try.
Gasch, Kerr and Tamberi all took three futile cracks at 2.34m.
Woo went for 2.37m, which would have broken his own national record by a centimeter, but failed twice before foregoing a third attempt.
Woo had finished fourth at last year's Tokyo Summer Games, the best Olympic performance by a South Korean track and field athlete.
He finished just 2 centimeters shy of the three medalists -- with Tamberi and Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar sharing gold and Maksim Nedasekau taking bronze. (Yonhap)