Windsurfing: Tzuberi qualifies for Olympics

Olympic gold medalist Fridman loses Beijing chance, but vows to continue competing.

windsurfing 88 (photo credit: )
windsurfing 88
(photo credit: )
The changing of the guard in Israeli windsurfing was completed on Saturday. Shahar Tzuberi, 21, claimed the bronze medal at the Neil Pryde World Championships at Takapuna beach in New Zealand. Tzuberi will now represent Israel in the Beijing Olympics. 2004 Olympic champion Gal Fridman finishing the competition in 29th position, losing all hope of competing at Beijing this summer and defending his gold medal, since each country can only send one representative. Despite the disappointing result in New Zealand, the 32-year-old Fridman is intending to continue competing. "I'll take a bit of time off and return to training ahead of the 2009 European Championships that will take place in Israel," Fridman told Sport 5. "After winning a bronze medal in Atlanta 1996 I missed out on the Sydney Olympics and I was told that I should retire because I'm over my peak. It's all in the head and one day it can come back." Tzuberi, who finishing in eighth position in last year's championships, ended Saturday's medal race in eighth position and slipped down from second to third. Local favorite Tom Ashley won the gold medal, with Portugal's Joao Rodrigues finishing in second position overall. Nimrod Mashiah, who is two years younger than Tzuberi, ended the championships in a respectable 12th position and will surely be challenging for a place in the 2012 London Games. In the women's competition, Lee Korzits and Ma'ayan Davidovitch both disappointed, finishing in 22nd and 26th positions overall.