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If 58-kilogram Jang Joon (Korea Gas Corp.) is the lightweight of the men’s taekwondo competition, Park Woo-hyuk (Samsung S-One) is the frontrunner in the heavyweight division .At 192 centimeters tall, Park competes in the 80-kilogram division and is one of Korea’s top hopefuls in the weight class. Born in 2000, Park has already been crowned a world champion .He won the gold medal in the final of the World Championships in Guadalajara, Mexico, last November, defeating Yon Sintado Arteche (Spain) by a round score of 2-0 (2-0 8-4).It had been 23 years since Korea had won a gold medal in the men’s 80kg (welterweight) category at a World Championships since Jang Jong-oh in 1999 in Edmonton, Canada. Jang Chang-ha’s silver medal in Beijing, China, in 2007 was the previous best result. The men’s 80-kilogram category is the only weight class in which South Korea has not qualified since Sydney 2000, when taekwondo was first included in the Olympic program .Park Woo-hyuk has made a mark on the Korean taekwondo scene since his first competition in 2019 in Manchester, England .He won a bronze medal in the round of 32 after defeating Olympic No. 1 Maksim Kramtkov (Russia) in a thrilling upset. Park has had a steady stream of international results, including a third-place finish at the 2020 Asian Championships, but he hasn’t had much to smile about this year .Things were going well until February, when he won the final of the national selection tournament with a 2-1 round score over Seo Gun-woo (Korea Gymnastics).But at the World Championships 2023 in Baku, Azerbaijan, in May, she packed up in the quarterfinals. He was defeated by WT No. 1 Simone Alessio (ITA) with a round score of 0-2.It was a disappointing result for the defending champion. However, he has used it as a learning experience and has been preparing himself to face the world’s top players at the Asian Games.”Salih Elsharabati of Jordan and Mehran Barahourdari of Iran are the two most prominent Asians in this weight class that we were wary of,” says Jung Dong-hyuk, head coach of Park’s team, Samsung S-One Taekwondo. We struggled to find a way to prepare for them,” he said, “so we focused all of our training on them.” Park Woo-hyuk joined Samsung S-ONE Taekwondo this year after graduating from Korea Gymnastics University.” He’s only been here for a short time, but he’s very active and creates a great atmosphere. He always has a positive attitude, so his personality is as good as his skills.” “We have a lot of athletes, but there is no one who can use both feet as well as Park Woo-hyuk in the heavyweight division. He also has the ability to make the right move at the right time, so I think he can become a signature in this weight class in the future. “Park’s victory in the men’s 80-kilogram category helped him overcome the pain he experienced earlier in the tournament .Park also competed in the mixed team event, which was introduced to the Asian Games for the first time in Hangzhou. This is an event that the ‘reigning’ Korean team has been targeting for gold since before the Games .Park teamed up with Kim Jandi (Samsung S One), Seo Gun-woo (Korea Gymnastics University), and Lee Da-bin (Seoul Metropolitan Government).Park Woo-hyuk’s individual victory made up for the disappointment he felt two days earlier .The last time Korea won this weight class at an Asian Games was in 2002 in 스포츠토토 Busan, Korea, 21 years ago.

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