Born in Kiev he is best known for his gold medal at the 1994 European Championships in Helsinki, which he achieved with a lifetime best throw of 20.78 meters.
Klimenko died in a shooting on 7 March, 2000 in Kiev, three weeks before his 30th birthday. He received four bullet wounds in the incident. Klimenko was working as a car salesman at the time of his death.
Over 300 athletes, coaches and friends attended the funeral.