TIMES BEACON RECORD
April 11, 2001
Your Hometown Connection To The World


Amanda Fortuna,13, defeats arm wrestling champ by Sam M. Schneider

In what is being called a “big upset,” thirteen-year-old Wading River resident Amanda Fortuna won first place in the women’s 135 pound weight class at the Top of the World NYC Big Apple Grapple II Arm Wrestling Championships. “It’s unbelieveable,” said Gene Camp, the spokesman for the New York Arm Wrestling Association.

Fortuna is currently an eighth grade student at Shoreham-Wading River Middle School. Camp described Fortuna’s victory as a “A big upset.”

In the Big Apple arm wrestling event, she bested Empire State Champion Liz Sanchez, who had been heavily favored in the competition. “I think Liz was devestated,” said Camp.

Fortuna, who began arm wrestling last year after watching her father, Dan, excel in competition, said that she wrestled three rounds to win the competition.

Her first competitor, she said, “scared me a bit,” because the woman had a “serious look on her face.” Nevertheless, Fortuna defeated her, and went on to face Sanchez. “She was harder,” Fortuna said, noting that she was employed two different arm wrestling techniques in order defeat her opponent.

Fortuna recalled that she first used the hook technique, in which a competitor uses the wrist for leveragem and then, as Fortuna said, “You put your whole body into it.” When the hook technique did not work, Fortuna shifted to the back pressure technique, in which a competitor tries to draw the opponent’s arms away from the her body.

Camp said that Fortuna’s victory demonstrated that she had been practicing. “She’s been learning a lot of technique. She’s an excellent arm wrestler right now,” he added.

The Big Apple Grapple II drew competitors from as far away as Switzerland, Russia, and Turkey. “This was an international event,” Camp said.

Amanda’s father, Dan, said he was very pleased and surprised by his daughter’s victory in the competition. “She’s gone beyond what I thought she’d be able to handle,” he said. Dan Fortuna came in fourth place in his weight class, Camp noted, adding that Dan and Amanda were amatures, while most of the other entrants were professional competitors.

Amanda said that she has enjoyed arm wrestling so much that she has altered her diet to stay in better shape. Pizza is now a food to be avoided, she said. Her father said that as well as his daughter has done, she still cannot beat him. When that happens, he said, “Then I’ve got to leave the house.”



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