After sharing one of the greatest sporting moments in Tokyo, both athletes fail to secure the winning title of Diamond League in Doha.
Woo Sang-Hyeok has become the first Korean to secure a World Athletics Diamond League title. He ended the Qatari favourite and Tokyo Olympic gold medalist Mutaz Essa Barshim’s winning streak to rest in an exceptional high jump.
East Asia’s current world indoor champion topped the field with a height of 2.33 meters despite windy conditions, which forced the committee to reschedule the men’s pole vault in Doha.
The champion’s effort saw him far outpace the pack and take the world lead spot for the current season at the much-packed Suheim Bin Hamad Stadium, with only four athletes clearing 2.20 meters due to the unfavorable weather conditions.
His victory was the star of the event as he beat the Tokyo Olympic co-gold duo Barshim and Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi in their much-anticipated reunion.
Clear favourites lose title
In one attempt, Woo cleared 2.20 meters but struggled to clear 2.24 meters, requiring all three attempts clear the bar.
Despite his early stumble, Korea’s victor continued to clear 2.27 meters in two attempts before clearing 2.30 meters and 2.33 meters on each attempt.
Woo attempted twice at 2.35 meters and once at 2.37 meters after his victory on Friday, but was unable to clear the bar at either height.
The Annabi star came second with a jump of 2.30 upon his return to action following the Olympics.
“This year is different because I have not been jumping since Tokyo, but you have to be smart and take your goals step by step, anyways it is good to be started,” said Barshim.
“The amazing crowd and atmosphere gave us strong competition; I produce my best when it is crowded with fans.”
Canada’s Django Lovett followed shortly after with a 2.27 jump. Despite his best efforts, Tamberi failed to advance beyond 2.20 meters after his third attempt, finishing seventh just above Australia’s Brandon Starc.
Peters bags world record
Up next was the men’s javelin throw, with Grenada’s Anderson Peters putting on an unforgettable performance and scoring a personal best of 93.07, also bagging a world record and area record.
Peters had to contend with tough competition from Czech Jakub Vadlejch, who finished second with a mark of 90.88. His throw was more than five metres better than his pervious personal best.
“I have competed in Doha twice and I love to be here. I am happy with the victory and I am trying to get better and to be more in shape,” Peters said, his winning throw was more than five and a half metres better than his previous personal best.
Third place went to Germany’s Julian Weber with a mark of 86.09.
Women pull out of the competition
Nerves were running wild on the women’s side, with score difference so close that left all the fans on their feet. But one person was crowned victorious.
Chase Ealey won the women’s shot put with a throw of 19.51, followed by Maggie Ewen, who finished second with 19.32. Jessica Ramsey secured the third place with 18.99.
“I feel so good. The weather is really good, the season has passed and I’m really excited and happy. I have a long travel but I feel very happy. I am trying to get myself always ready to win more of that,” said Ealey.
The women’s triple jump saw Jamaica’s Shanieka Ricketts rise victorious with 14.82m, followed by Ukraine’s Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk (14.73m) and Dominica’s Thea Lafond (14.46m).
The Diamond League competition is the top tier of World Athletics, with 13 events held throughout the year. Only elite athletes are invited to compete, and one-day competitions are held weekly throughout the summer.
The league will continue in Birmingham in the UK next Saturday.