The Decade’s Top 10 Women By Event

With a pair of World Records to go with OG and WC golds, Dalilah Muhammad ruled in the long hurdles. (KEVIN MORRIS)

OUR INTERNATIONAL PANEL of experts, who annually put their heads together for T&FN’s famous World Rankings, this time joined up in recapping the second decade of the century. Here’s their ordering of the Top 10 women in each of the standard individual events.

With each of the Top 10s you’ll find some background data: repeaters from the previous decade, the top 3 World Rankings scorers in the decade, a recap of who won the 10 No. 1s and the chronological distribution of the Olympic and World Champs medals, plus World Indoor medals in the jumps and shot. (Note: where needed, medals are as redistributed after any after-the-fact test results. Anybody with a pending CAS case is considered innocent until that final decision.)

1 Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce Jamaica
2 Carmelita Jeter US
3 Elaine Thompson Jamaica
4 Torie Bowie US
5 Veronica Campbell-Brown Jamaica
6 Dafne Schippers Netherlands
7 Marie-Josée Ta Lou Côte d’Ivoire
8 Murielle Ahouré Côte d’Ivoire
9 Blessing Okagbare Nigeria
10 Kelly-Ann Baptiste Trinidad

LAST DECADE’S RUNNER-UP, Fraser-Pryce added to her bulging trophy case with 4 more major golds… Repeaters from the last decade: VCB (1), SAFP (2), Jeter (10)… Top scorers: SAFP 53, Okagbare 46, Ahouré 44… No. 1s: SAFP 4, Jeter & Thompson 2, VCB & Ta Lou 1… OG golds: SAFP/Thompson… WC golds: Jeter/SAFP/SAFP/Bowie/SAFP.

1 Allyson Felix US
2 Dafne Schippers Netherlands
3 Elaine Thompson Jamaica
4 Shaunae Miller-Uibo Bahamas
5 Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce Jamaica
6 Veronica Campbell-Brown Jamaica
7 Dina Asher-Smith Great Britain
8 Carmelita Jeter US
9. Tori Bowie US
10 Marie-Josée Ta Lou Côte d’Ivoire

FELIX WASN’T QUITE AS GOOD as she was in the Noughties, but was still good enough to hold on to the top with career No. 1s 5, 6 & 7… Repeaters: Felix (1), VCB (2)… Top scorers: Felix 59, Schippers 51, SMU & Thompson 35… No. 1s: Felix & SMU 3, VCB, SAFP, Schippers & Thompson 1… OG golds: Felix/Thompson… WC golds: VCB/SAFP/Schippers/Schippers/Asher-Smith.

Allyson Felix repeated as No. 1 in the 200 and added a No. 2 in the 400. (KEVIN MORRIS)
1 Shaunae Miller-Uibo Bahamas
2 Allyson Felix US
3 Amantle Montsho Botswana
4 Salwa Eid Naser Bahrain
5 Sanya Richards-Ross US
6 Christine Ohuruogu Great Britain
7 Shericka Jackson Jamaica
8 Phyllis Francis US
9 Francena McCorory US
10 Novlene Williams-Mills Jamaica

A NARROW WIN for Miller-Uibo over Felix in a battle of world champions. The Bahamian won their Olympic battle to claim the top spot… Repeaters: SRR (1), Ohuruogu (5), Williams-Mills (9)… Top scorers: SMU 47, McCorory 46, Felix 45… No. 1s: Felix, Miller-Uibo, Montsho & Naser 2; SRR & NWM 1… OG golds: SRR/SMU… WC golds: Montsho/Ohuruogu/Felix/Francis/Naser.

1 Caster Semenya South Africa
2 Francine Niyonsaba Burundi
3 Eunice Sum Kenya
4 Ajee’ Wilson US
5 Janeth Jepkosgei Kenya
6 Alysia Montaño US
7 Pamela Jelimo Kenya
8 Yekaterina Zavyalova Russia
9 Margaret Wambui Kenya
10 Maryna Arzamasova Belarus

IN AN EVENT FILLED WITH CONTROVERSY we took the tack that Semenya—like fellow DSD-category runners Niyonsaba & Wambui—was a legal competitor through the ’18 season… Repeaters: Jepkosgei (2), Jelimo (5)… Top scorers: Semenya 48, Niyonsaba 45, Wilson 44… No. 1s: Semenya 4; Sum 3; Jelimo, Jepkosgei & Wilson 1… OG golds: Semenya/Semenya… WC golds: Semenya/Sum/Arzamasova/Semenya/Nakaayi.

1 Faith Kipyegon Kenya
2 Genzebe Dibaba Ethiopia
3 Jenny Simpson US
4 Abeba Aregawi Ethiopia/Sweden
5 Sifan Hassan Netherlands
6 Maryam Jamal Bahrain
7 Shannon Rowbury US
8 Laura Muir Great Britain
9 Hellen Obiri Kenya
10 Shelby Houlihan US

NOBODY HAD MORE THAN 1 OG gold or WC gold, but only Kipyegon had one of each… Repeater: Jamal (1)… Top scorers: Hassan 50, Kipyegon & Simpson 49… No. 1s: Aregawi & Kipyegon 2; Dibaba, Hassan, Houlihan, Nancy Langat (Kenya), Simpson & Morgan Uceny (US) 1… OG golds: Jamal/Kipyegon… WC golds: Simpson/Aregawi/Dibaba/Kipyegon/Hassan.

1 Beatrice Chepkoech Kenya
2 Habiba Ghribi Tunisia
3 Milcah Chemos Kenya
4 Ruth Jebet Bahrain
5 Hyvin Jepkemoi Kenya
6 Emma Coburn US
7 Sofia Assefa Ethiopia
8 Hiwot Ayalew Ethiopia
9 Lydia Chepkurui Kenya
10 Gesa-Felicitas Krause Germany

GHRIBI HAD THE BEST MEDAL COLLECTION, but Chepkoech’s sheer wealth of fast times—topped by her amazing WR—were enough to slide the Kenyan to the summit… No repeaters (’00s only done 5-deep)… Top scorers: Jepkemoi 54, Assefa 52, Coburn 46… No. 1s: Chepkoech & Ghribi 3, Chemos 2, Ayalew & Jebet 1… OG golds: Ghribi/Jebet… WC golds: Ghribi/Chemos/Jepkemoi/Coburn/Chepkoech.

1 Vivian Cheruiyot Kenya
2 Meseret Defar Ethiopia
3 Hellen Obiri Kenya
4 Almaz Ayana Ethiopia
5 Tirunesh Dibaba Ethiopia
6 Genzebe Dibaba Ethiopia
7 Mercy Cherono Kenya
8 Senbere Teferi Ethiopia
9 Sifan Hassan Netherlands
10 Margaret Kipkemboi Kenya

CHERUIYOT & DEFAR were about as close to a tie as you can get, with the Kenyan winning based on quality of medals (OG gold & silver plus WC gold vs. OG gold plus WC gold & bronze)… Repeaters: T. Dibaba (1), Defar (2), Cheruiyot (3)… Top scorers: Ayana 45, Cheruiyot 39, G. Dibaba & Obiri 38… No. 1s: Obiri 3; Ayana & Defar 2; Cheruiyot, G. Dibaba & T. Dibaba 1… OG golds: Defar/Cheruiyot… WC golds: Cheruiyot/Defar/Ayana/Obiri/Obiri… Top American: Molly Huddle.

10,000 METERS
1 Tirunesh Dibaba Ethiopia
2 Vivian Cheruiyot Kenya
3 Almaz Ayana Ethiopia
4 Sally Kipyego Kenya
5 Sifan Hassan Netherlands
6 Gelete Burka Ethiopia
7 Agnes Tirop Kenya
8 Letesenbet Gidey Ethiopia
9 Gladys Cherono Kenya
10 Linet Masai Kenya

EVERYBODY IN THE TOP 10 had at least 1 WC medal. Dibaba had 2 of them (gold & silver, plus OG gold & bronze)… Repeaters: Dibaba (1), Masai (5)… Top Scorers: Dibaba 47, Cheruiyot 37, Kipyego 32… No. 1s: Dibaba 3; Ayana & Cheruiyot 2; Joyce Chepkirui (Kenya), Hassan & Stacy Ndiwa (Kenya) 1… OG golds: Dibaba/Ayana… WC golds: Cheruiyot/Dibaba/Cheruiyot/Ayana/Hassan… Top American: Molly Huddle.

1 Sally Pearson Australia
2 Dawn Harper Nelson US
3 Brianna McNeal US
4 Keni Harrison US
5 Nia Ali US
6 Danielle Williams Jamaica
7 Sharika Nelvis US
8 Queen Claye US
9 Tiffany Porter Great Britain
10 Kellie Wells US

WR HOLDER HARRISON had 4 No. 1s, but a dearth of medals—just a solitary WC silver—held her to No. 4… Repeater: Harper Nelson (8)… Top scorers: Harper Nelson 57, Pearson 53, Harrison 43… No. 1s: Harrison 4; Harper Nelson & Pearson 2; Priscilla Lopes-Schliep (Canada) & McNeal 1… OG golds: Pearson/McNeal… WC golds: Pearson/McNeal/Williams/Pearson/Ali.

1 Dalilah Muhammad US
2 Zuzana Hejnová Czech Republic
3 Lashinda Demus US
4 Natalya Antyukh Russia
5 Kaliese Carter Jamaica
6 Shamier Little US
7 Kori Carter US
8 Sydney McLaughlin US
9 Sara Slott Petersen Denmark
10 Georganne Moline US

WITH OG & WC GOLDS to back up her pair of WRs, Muhammad was the only possible choice… Repeater: Demus (4)… Top scorers: Hejnová 61, Ka. Carter 51, Muhammad 45… No. 1s: Ka. Carter, Demus, Hejnová & Muhammad 2, Ko. Carter & Little 1… OG golds: Antyukh/Muhammad… WC golds: Demus/Hejnová/Hejnová/Ko. Carter/Muhammad.

1 Mary Keitany Kenya
2 Brigid Kosgei Kenya
3 Edna Kiplagat Kenya
4 Priscah Jeptoo Kenya
5 Florence Kiplagat Kenya
6 Mare Dibaba Ethiopia
7 Tirfe Tsegaye Ethiopia
8 Jemima Sumgong Kenya
9 Aberu Kebede Ethiopia
10 Tiki Gelana Ethiopia

THE BATTLE OF EAST AFRICA was won by Kenya, 6 places to 4, including the top 5… Keitany was the only double No. 1… No repeaters… Top scorers: Keitany 49, E. Kiplagat 46, F. Kiplagat 31… No. 1s: Keitany 2; Atsede Baysa (Ethiopia), Vivian Cheruiyot (Kenya), M. Dibaba, Gelana, P. Jeptoo, Kosgei, Sumgong & Tsegaye 1… OG golds: Gelana/Sumgong… WC golds: E. Kiplagat/E. Kiplagat/M. Dibaba/Rose Chelimo (Bahrain)/Ruth Chepngetich (Kenya)… Top American: Shalane Flanagan.

1 Hong Liu China
2 Yelena Lashmanova Russia
3 Shenjie Qieyang China
4 Xiuzhi Lu China
5 Jiayu Yang China
6 Lupita González Mexico
7 Ana Cabecinha Por
8 Erica de Sena Brazil
9 Antonella Palmisano Italy
10 Elisa Rigaudo Italy

NEEDLESS TO SAY, all the Russian DQs changed a lot of the decade’s stats… Top scorers: Liu 66, Qieyang 41, Lu 35… No. 1s: Liu 4; Lashmanova 2; González, Anisya Kirdyapkina (Russia), Maria Vasco (Spain) & Yang 1… OG golds: Lashmanova/Liu… WC golds: Liu/Lashmanova/Liu/Yang/Liu… Top American: Maria Michta-Coffey.

Not enough years of competition to justify decade-long analysis.
1 Mariya Lasitskene Russia
2 Anna Chicherova Russia
3 Ruth Beitia Spain
4 Blanka Vlašić Croatia
5 Svetlana Shkolina Russia
6 Chaunté Lowe US
7 Kamila Lićwinko Poland
8 Brigetta Barrett US
9 Vashti Cunningham US
10 Yuliya Levchenko Ukraine

LASITSKENE WAS NIGH-ON INVINCIBLE in the last half of the decade and her 5 No. 1s may well have been 6 had she not been denied a Rio opportunity because of Russia’s malfeasance… Repeaters: Vlašić (1), Chicherova (4), Lowe (10)… Top scorers: Lasitskene 54, Beitia 49, Vlašić 43… No. 1s: Lasitskene 5; Chicherova 2; Beitia, Shkolina & Vlašić 1… OG golds: Chicherova/Beitia… WC golds: Chicherova/Shkolina/Lasitskene/Lasitskene/Lasitskene…WIC golds: Vlašić/Lowe/Lasitskene & Lićwinko/Cunningham/Lasitskene.

1 Jenn Suhr US
2 Katerína Stefanídi Greece
3 Sandi Morris US
4 Yelena Isinbaeva Russia
5 Yarisley Silva Cuba
6 Fabiana Murer Brazil
7 Nikoléta Kiriakopoúlou Greece
8 Anzhelika Sidorova Russia
9 Svetlana Feofanova Russia
10 Silke Spiegelburg Germany

STEFANÍDI & MORRIS each had 5 major medals to Suhr’s 3, but the ’12 OG gold combined with a pair of indoor WRs—and the 3 highest vaults of the decade overall—gave the edge to Suhr… Repeaters: Isinbaeva (1), Feofanova (2), Suhr (6), Murer (8)… Top scorers: Silva 59, Suhr 58, Murer 49… No. 1s: Morris, Murer & Suhr 2; Isinbaeva, Kiriakopoúlou, Sidorova & Stefanídi 1… OG golds: Suhr/Stefanídi… WC golds: Murer/Isinbaeva/Silva/Stefanídi/Sidorova…WIC golds: Murer/Isinbaeva/Silva/Suhr/Morris.

1 Brittney Reese US
2 Tianna Bartoletta US
3 Ivana Španović Serbia
4 Malaika Mihambo Germany
5 Darya Klishina Russia
6 Shara Proctor Great Britain
7 Janay DeLoach US
8 Éloyse Lesueur-Aymonin France
9 Yelena Sokolova Russia
10 Lorraine Ugen Great Britain

WHAT A COLLECTION OF GOODIES for Reese: Olympic gold & silver, 3 WC golds, 3 WIC golds (and a silver) plus 6 No. 1s… Repeater: Reese (9)… Top scorers: Reese 80, Španović 58, Klishina 45… No. 1s: Reese 6; Mihambo 2; Bartoletta & Lesueur-Aymonin 1… OG golds: Reese/Bartoletta… WC golds: Reese/Reese/Bartoletta/Reese/Mihambo… WIC golds: Reese/Reese/Lesueur-Aymonin/Reese/Španović.

With 9 World Rankings appearences (including 5 No. 1s), Caterine Ibargüen dominated the triple jump. (MARK SHEARMAN)
1 Caterine Ibargüen Colombia
2 Yulimar Rojas Venezuela
3 Olga Rypakova Kazakstan
4 Olha Saladukha Ukraine
5 Kim Williams Jamaica
6 Yekaterina Koneva Russia
7 Hanna Minenko Ukraine/Israel
8 Yargelis Savigne Cuba
9 Shanieka Ricketts Jamaica
10 Keturah Orji US

ROJAS CAME ON STRONGLY as the decade ended, but overall fellow South American Ibargüen had OG gold & silver plus a pair of WC golds, a silver and a pair of bronzes to go with 5 No. 1s…Repeater: Savigne (3)… Top scorers: Ibargüen 83, Rypakova 53, Saladukha 52… No. 1s: Ibargüen 5; Rojas & Rypakova 2; Saladukha 1… OG golds: Rypakova/Ibargüen… WC golds: Saladukha/Ibargüen/Ibargüen/Rojas/Rojas… WIC golds: Rypakova/Yamilé Aldama (Great Britain)/Koneva/Rojas/Rojas.

1 Valerie Adams New Zealand
2 Lijiao Gong China
3 Michelle Carter US
4 Christina Schwanitz Germany
5 Anita Márton Hungary
6 Jill Camarena-Williams US
7 Danniel Thomas-Dodd Jamaica
8 Cleopatra Borel Trinidad
9 Nadine Kleinert Germany
10 Raven Saunders US

DESPITE LOSING 2 YEARS of the decade to maternity, Adams was the dominant force, claiming half of the No. 1s and 6 major golds… Repeaters: Adams (1), Kleinert (3)… Top scorers: Gong 86, Adams 66, Carter 51… No. 1s: Adams 5; Gong 3; Carter & Schwanitz 1… OG golds: Adams/Carter… WC golds: Adams/Adams/Schwanitz/Gong/Gong… WIC golds: Adams/Adams/Adams/Carter/Márton.

1 Sandra Perković Croatia
2 Denia Caballero Cuba
3 Yarelis Barrios Cuba
4 Nadine Müller Germany
5 Mélina Robert-Michon France
6 Yaimé Pérez Cuba
7 Yanfeng Li China
8 Dani Stevens Australia
9 Gia Lewis-Smallwood US
10 Żaneta Glanc Poland

PERKOVIĆ SCORED MORE “premium points” (for top 3 in the Rankings) than any other woman, racking up 7 straight No. 1s… Repeater: Barrios (7)… Top scorers: Perković 87, Müller 53, Caballero & Stevens 46… No. 1s: Perković 7; Barrios, Li & Pérez 1… OG golds: Perković/Perković… WC golds: Li/Perković/Caballero/Perković/Pérez.

1 Anita Włodarczyk Poland
2 Betty Heidler Germany
3 Wenxiu Zhang China
4 Zheng Wang China
5 DeAnna Price US
6 Joanna Fiodorow Poland
7 Kathrin Klaas Germany
8 Yipsi Moreno Cuba
9 Alexandra Tavernier France
10 Tatyana Lysenko Russia

WITH HER DOMINATION of the medals and Ranking stats, who else but Włodarczyk?… Repeaters: Moreno (1), Heidler (4), Zhang (6), Lysenko (7), Włodarczyk (8)… Top scorers: Włodarczyk 89, Heidler 65, Zhang 58… No. 1s: Włodarczyk 6; Heidler 3; Price 1… OG golds: Włodarczyk/Włodarczyk… WC golds: Lysenko/Włodarczyk/Włodarczyk/Włodarczyk/Price.

Barbora Špotáková added 6 more javelin No. 1s to go with the 3 she earned last decade. (JEAN-PIERRE DURAND/PHOTO RUN
1 Barbora Špotáková Czech Republic
2 Christina Obergföll Germany
3 Sunette Viljoen South Africa
4 Huihui Lu China
5 Linda Stahl Germany
6 Sara Kolak Croatia
7 Katharina Molitor Germany
8 Tatsiana Khaladovich Belarus
9 Kelsey Barber Australia
10 Kim Mickle Australia

ŠPOTÁKOVÁ DIDN’T GET A PR in the decade, the only leader not to do so, but she nonetheless produced the No. 3 performance in history and captured 6 No. 1s despite a pair of maternity leaves… Repeaters: Špotáková (3), Obergföll (5)… Top scorers: Špotáková 71, Viljoen 53, Obergföll 43… No. 1s: Špotáková 6; Lu & Obergföll 2… OG golds: Špotáková/Kolak… WC golds: Špotáková/Obergföll/Molitor/Špotáková/Barber… Top American: Kara Winger.

1 Jessica Ennis-Hill Great Britain
2 Nafi Thiam Belgium
3 Katarina Johnson-Thompson Great Britain
4 Brianne Theisen-Eaton Canada
5 Carolyn Schäfer Germany
6 Laura Ikauniece Latvia
7 Hanna Kasyanova Ukraine
8 Lilli Schwarzkopf Germany
9 Jennifer Oeser Germany
10 Nadine Broersen Netherlands

EACH WINNING both an OG & WC gold, Ennis-Hill & Thiam were close for the top spot, but the Brit had 1 more No. 1 Ranking… Repeater: Ennis-Hill (8)… Top scorers: Ennis-Hill 49, Johnson-Thompson 45, Thiam 44… No. 1s: Ennis-Hill 4; Thiam 3; Johnson-Thompson 2; Kasyanova 1… OG golds: Ennis-Hill/Thiam… WC golds: Ennis-Hill/Kasyanova/Ennis-Hill/Thiam/Johnson-Thompson. ◻︎

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