2008 Olympics -
Shahar Tzuberi won the bronze medal
2008 Olympics news - After a disappointing run for Israel in the Beijing Olympics, windsurfer Shahar Tzuberi finally gave Israelis a reason to cheer.
Tzuberi won the bronze medal at Wednesday's Neil Pryde finals, Israel's first medal at the 2008 games.
New Zealander Tom Ashley took the gold, and Frenchman Julien Bontemps won the silver medal.
Tzuberi entered the 2008 Olympics decisive contest in fourth place overall, with 54 points. This meant that he had to finish at least four places ahead of Ashley or the UK's Nick Dempsey. Dempsey ended up finishing seventh, five places after the Israeli windsurfer.
"It was very difficult work. I'm very happy with the accomplishment," Tzuberi told Channel 1 after winning the medal. "There was a lot of support from Israel."
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert called to congratulate Tzuberi during the broadcast, telling him: "You've made us so happy. I've been following you all of these ten days. I was constantly impressed by your cool demeanor, your level headedness, and your self confidence - the feeling that you conveyed to us that you will end up bringing a medal."
Shahar Zubari seen from the back wrapped in an Israeli flag after the ceremony where he was awarded a bronze medal, Wednesday.
"You have no idea how exciting it is," Olmert continued. "I'm looking at you now through the TV and see you holding the [Israeli] flag. There are lots of tears of joy now in the eyes of Israelis. Your future is ahead of you."
Tzuberi simply answered: "Thank you. Thank you very much."
Tzuberi began the race quite far behind: Believing he'd leapt early and was risking a penalty, the windsurfer turned around and returned to the start line. This led him to trail behind the other surfers in the first few minutes of the race, but he quickly gained ground.
"I had a good start at the 2008 Olympics but I was sure I'd been penalized," Tzuberi said. "So I preferred to fix it and go back to be sure. I made good tactical decisions...and returned to the top."
Back in Israel, Tzuberi's family was ecstatic.
"It's a great joy. Every member of the family apart from Shahar was here at home watching [the race]. He was on a roll when he began and he took it all the way," Tzuberi's mother told Israel Radio from her home in Eilat.
Shahar Tzuberi seen from the back wrapped in an Israeli flag after the ceremony where he was awarded a bronze medal, Wednesday.
Tzuberi celebrates his medal on Wednesday.
Click here to See updates about Shahar Tzuberi, August 15th, 2008
The first days for Tzuberi
2008 Summer Olympics
Schedule - Sailing
Click here to see other windsurfing events
Click here to enjoy other great articles and photos
See other water sports events
Back to top
leave 2008 olympics and return
to Tropical Paradise, please click here