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The team of Gidi Kliger and Udi Gal demonstrated yesterday once again that they are among the leading Israeli candidates for a medal at the Beijing Olympics. The pair took the bronze medal in Melbourne after finishing eighth in the medal round.

They started out the day in second place, trailing the Portuguese duo of Alvaro Marinho and Miguel Nunes by just three points, and ahead of British team Nic Asher and Elliot Willis by a mere tenth of a point. The Israelis opened up the tenth and final race well, but when the wind changed, they found themselves trailing. The British pair won the finale to take gold, while the Portuguese team, which came in third yesterday, had to settle for silver.

Kliger was disappointed with the finish. "It's okay, we were in second place before today and we won a medal. I'm sure I'll be happy in another few hours," he said afterward.

This is the third consecutive time the two have won bronze in the world championship.

It's an unprecedented feat that shows their consistency at the world class level, but the two expected to finish higher. "The truth is I have no idea if I should be happy or sad," admitted Gal. "There hasn't been a team in recent years that won three consecutive medals, and that's a nice achievement. We sailed fantastically, and we showed a lot of character, but the time has come for us to change the color of the medal. I know that everyone expects that by now, and we more than everybody else, perhaps in China."