Two U S wrestlers set for Beach World Championships in Bulgaria August 30

By Gary Abbott | Aug. 28, 2009, 9:59 a.m. (ET)
Jeff Funicello poses with the U.S. flag after winning a Beach bronze medal in 2008 in Albania.

Two U.S. wrestlers will enter the 2009 Beach World Championships in Obzor, Bulgaria on Sunday, August 30.

Jeff Funicello (Gilbert, Ariz./American Pankration-Sunkist Kids), who has won a pair of Beach World bronze medals in the past, will enter in at the Below 85 kg/187.5 lbs. division.

Ben Johnstone (Rochester, N.Y./RIT) will also compete at the Below 85 kg/187.5 lbs. division.

This will be the first time that FILA will host a World Beach Wrestling Championships as a stand-alone event. In past years, the World Beach event was held as part of the World Wrestling Games.

Funicello placed second and Johnstone placed third at the U.S. Beach World Team Trials, held in Rochester, N.Y. in July.

Funicello is the only American to win more than one medal at the World Beach Championships. He is hoping to become the first American to win a gold medal at the World Beach Championships.

He captured his bronze medals in Antalya, Turkey in 2007 and in Durres, Albania in 2008.
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