Former Sun Devil Funicello Claims World Beach Wrestling Bronze

Sept. 12, 2007

TEMPE, Ariz. - Jeff Funicello (American Pankration), a former member of the Arizona State University wrestling program, recently competed for the United States in a trio of world championship events held in Turkey September 7-9. The Sun Devil wrestler (1990-94) won a bronze medal in beach wrestling, placed seventh in Sombo while also participating in grappling at the FILA World Championships in Antalya, Turkey.

A native of Gilbert, Ariz., Funicello opened his stay in Turkey by finishing seventh in the Sombo tournament on September 7, falling in his opening bout of the 84kg (185 pounds) weight division. Sombo, a modern martial art, is a jacket wrestling sport from Russia and consists of throws, pins and submission by leg and arm locks.

One day later, Funicello stepped onto the sands of Camyuva, Turkey, and competed in the under 85kg (187.25 pound) weight class in beach wrestling. After opening the tournament with two wins in a row by identical scores of 2-0, Funicello dropped a 2-0 decision to Kataura Noriyuki of Japan, the eventual gold medalist. He then fell, 2-1, to Ehran Dik of Turkey to finish with the bronze.

On the final day of competitions, Funicello competed in grappling, another submission-based wrestling sport, and entered the 80kg (176 pound) division. He posted a 1-1 record on the day and did not place in the event.

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