Woo Haram (Korea Sports Promotion Organization) is back from a back injury to take the stage at the World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka.
He’s still not 100 percent, so he won’t be going for South Korea’s first ever medal in men’s diving.
For now, Uharam has set a realistic goal of qualifying for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, which is reserved for the top 12 athletes in each event.
“I started technical training in March and I’m 안전놀이터 about 50 to 60 percent fit,” Uharam said at the Korean Swimming Team’s media day for the 2023 World Aquatics Championships at Jincheon Athletes’ Village on Sunday. “I want to prepare well for the rest of the year and perform as well as possible. My goal for the World Championships is to qualify for the Paris Olympics.”
Woo Haram is the “history of Korean diving.
He competed at four consecutive World Championships, from Barcelona 2013 to Gwangju 2019.
In Gwangju, he finished fourth in the 1-meter springboard and 3-meter springboard individual events, the highest finish ever for a South Korean male diver.
At the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in 2021, he finished fourth in the men’s 3-meter springboard, his best result ever, and raised the “dream of an Olympic medal” for Korean diving.
However, Uharam missed the 2022 World Championships in Budapest due to back pain.
The after-effects of the injury have prevented him from getting back to full fitness as the Fukuoka World Championships approach (July 14).
“I had a procedure on my back in November last year, and after two to three months of rehabilitation, I started technical training in March,” Uharam said, “and now I’m getting better. There are no problems with my training.”
Despite the difficulty of performing at 100 percent in Fukuoka, Uharam decided to look a little further ahead.
“I will definitely win a medal at the Hangzhou Asian Games (in September),” he said, “and at the World Championships, I will definitely qualify for the Paris Olympics. The World Championships in Fukuoka and the Asian Games in Hangzhou are all part of my preparation for Paris,” he said, adding that he has a dream of winning a medal in Paris.
Kim Soo-ji (Ulsan Metropolitan Government), who changed the history of Korean diving when she won bronze in the women’s 1-meter springboard in Gwangju in 2019, also set her sights on reaching the final in Fukuoka.
“Last year in Budapest, I only made it to the semifinals,” she said, “so I’m determined to make it to the final this time.”
The title of ‘first Korean diving medalist’ is a source of pride for Kim.
“Winning the bronze medal in Gwangju is a great honor and something I’m very proud of,” she said. “I had a lot of people cheering for me, which gave me more strength. I believe in myself and am determined to do well,” she said.