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Funicello places fifth in Beach World Championships in Hungary

BUDAPEST, Hungary – Jeff Funicello (Mesa, Ariz./American Pankration) placed fifth at 90 kg/198 lbs. at the Senior Beach World Championships earlier this week.

Funicello went 4-2 in the competition. In Beach wrestling, the first athlete to score two points wins the match, often with bouts completed very quickly.

Funicello opened with wins over opponents from Turkey (2-0), the United States (2-1), Iran (2-0 and the Netherlands (2-0). In the semifinals, he was defeated 2-1 by an opponent from Hungary. In his bronze-medal bout, Funicello was defeated by an opponent from Sweden to finish fifth.

“It’s not what I wanted but overall I felt I performed well,” said Funicello.

Funicello is one of two Americans who have won a pair of Beach World bronze medals in his career, along with heavyweight star Carlos Dolmo.

The other U.S. wrestler competing in his weight class was Aaron Wendel, who Funicello beat in the second round.

“As a team, the Greeks and Hungarians finished first and second. It was great to see all of the countries involved from all of Europe, to Russia and its former Republics and countries from Mongolia to South Africa and Sierra Leone,” said Funicello.

Funicello has competed in more Beach World Championships than any other American, and has been a pioneer in the development of the style here in the United States.
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