Kliger and partner Udi Gal did not get of to an optimal start in the 2004 Athens Games. The duo finished 19th in the first race on August 14, with a final time of 2:33. The second race was of higher quality for the Israeli team, but still not up to their usual standards. A final time of 2:33 was enough for a 13th place finish. Kliger and Gal finished the first day ranked 17th in the event. The first race of August 15 was kinder on the Israeli's as they came in sixth on a 1:04 performance. They were at the back of the pack at the start but made their way to sixth place halfway through the race and never relented. The duo finished 8th in the fourth race, with 2:32. Kliger and Gal were 6th at in the early stages but fell back. Their fifth race, held on August 17, consisted of a lackluster 7:13 time as they finished 24th. Race seven was launched after the fierce winds troubling the Athens sailing events had calmed and the Israeli's responded with a fifth place finish and a good time (1:04). Their 8th race was a mediocre 11th place finish (1:43) which led them dangerously far from the top. Kliger and Gal had lost all hope of a medal with their performance in races nine and ten held on August 19. They finished 23rd (7:21) and 12th (1:21) and 15th in the eleventh and final race (2:16). The duo ranked 13th in the final reckoning and a disappointed Kliger said: "we have a long time now to decide whether to continue sailing or not."
Gideon Kliger was the intense and introverted half of the promising Israeli 470 model Olympic sailing team in 2004 along with Udi Gal. The team had been on top form until a few weeks before the Games begin and were confident of achieving satisfactory results in Athens. Gidi however refused to rest on his laurels as he declares "everything is nonsense until August 3rd, when we get to Athens. Then the real games begin."
Kliger and Udi Gal made quite a splash in the sailing world with their 1998 victory at the European Youth Championship. In 2001 they narrowly missed out on the gold in the senior European Championship held in Ireland and came in second. In 2002 they came in fifth in the World Championship, in 2003 they finished fourth and this year it was fifth again as they continued to chase that elusive World Championship medal. Gidi and Udi won the prestigious Barcelona meet in 2004 but have suffered a series of setbacks in the last few weeks before the Olympics.
Birth and Death Dates:
b. March 30, 1980
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