'21 Breakthrough Performances of the Year: Geraei, Zare and Focken
Tuesday, December 7, 2021 - 12:23 By Eric Olanowski
CORSIER-SUR-VEVEY, Switzerland (December 7) -- Mohammadreza GERAEI (IRI), Amir ZARE (IRI) and Aline FOCKEN (GER) have been named United World Wrestling’s Breakthrough Performance of the Year award winners.
Geraei came into 2021 without having a world or Olympic medal on his resume. The 25-year-old, known as ‘The Iceman,’ defied all expectations and claimed Olympic gold in Tokyo and closed out his improbable ’21 campaign with a world-title run in Oslo.
Zare, at just 20-year-old, had a colossal year. He collected an Olympic bronze medal in Tokyo before upsetting three-time world champ Geno PETRIASHVILI (GEO) and Olympic gold medalist Taha AKGUL (TUR) en route to gaining heavyweight supremacy at the Oslo World Championships.
Aline Focken picked the perfect time to retire. After missing out on the ’12 London Olympic Games and a ninth-place outing in Rio, the 12-year-veteran ended her career with an upset victory over five-time world champion Adeline GRAY (USA) in the 76kg Olympic finals.