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(Gwangju Swimming) Woo Ha-ram happy to put S. Korean diving on the map

All Headlines 22:48 July 20, 2019

By Yoo Jee-ho

GWANGJU, July 20 (Yonhap) -- South Korean diver Woo Ha-ram is famous for the Olympic Rings tattoo on the back of his right shoulder. But he's just as proud, if not more so, of the national flag on his uniform at international events.

By placing in the top 10 in all five events he entered at the FINA World Championships in Gwangju, Woo feels he put South Korean diving on the international map as well.

South Korean diver Woo Ha-ram prepares for an attempt in the final of the men's 10m platform at the FINA World Championships at Nambu University Municipal Aquatics Center in Gwangju, 330 kilometers south of Seoul, on July 20, 2019. (Yonhap)

"Most divers take part in two events at most, and they probably think I am running myself into the ground," Woo said Saturday, after finishing in sixth place in the men's 10m platform to cap off his campaign. "But at the same time, I feel that I am getting some recognition from divers from other countries. I am quite proud of that. I think I represented my country well here."

Woo sniffed at a medal in the 1m springboard and 3m springboard, finishing in fourth place in both events to set new personal bests at a world championship. In Saturday's 10m platform final, Woo slipped from fourth to sixth with a poor final dive, though the 21-year-old said he was happy with where he ranked.

"I wasn't conscious of being in a position to win a medal. I was mostly fighting a battle with myself," Woo said. "Overall, this has been a satisfactory competition. I set personal highs and narrowed the gap with the best divers in the world. I feel like I've grown so much."

Woo earned spots at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in both the 3m springboard and 10m platform. He will be making his second consecutive Olympic appearance in those two events. He secured his Olympic ticket first in the 3m springboard by reaching the final, and said it was the most memorable event for him in Gwangju.

He said he will have to go back to the drawing board before he can take the next step.

"I have to minimize my mistakes in entries," said Woo, who has been undone by subpar entries on multiple occasions here. "If I can do that, I feel I can contend for a medal at these events."

South Korean diver Woo Ha-ram competes in the final of the men's 10m platform at the FINA World Championships at Nambu University Municipal Aquatics Center in Gwangju, 330 kilometers south of Seoul, on July 20, 2019. (Yonhap)

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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