Yesterday marked International Women’s Day and this inevitably sparked some healthy debate in the Ladbrokes News office regarding just who is the greatest sportswoman of all time.
There was plenty of early support for the tennis behemoth that is Serena Williams but after much discussion the American failed to make it into our top five.
If you think that decisions is harsh, have your say in the poll below and get in touch with your comments but first take a look at our top five contenders.
Steffi Graf – Tennis
Serena may well be on course to overtake Steffi Graf’s career haul in the majors but as it stands the German still leads 22-19.
Margaret Court may outrank both players with 24 titles but with Graff winning the French, Australian and US Opens, singles and doubles titles at Wimbledon and Olympic gold all in 1988 it is unlikely we will see the women’s game dominated in such fashion ever again.
Abby Wambach – Football
The list of female football stars with 100+ international goals isn’t huge but sitting pretty at the top with an incredible 178 strikes from 236 appearances is six-time US Soccer Athlete of the Year Abby Wambach.
The 24-year-old Western New York Flash striker also boasts an enviable domestic record, with 70 goals from 129 game since 2002, but it is her astonishing record for the USWNT that sees her onto the list.
Nadia Comaneci – Gymnastics
Winning nine Olympic medals, including five golds, two world championship titles and nine European gold medals is enough to warrant a place in our top five for former Russian gymnast Comaneci.
However, her performance at the 1976 Montreal Olympics at the age of 14 is what earned her legendary status.
Her routine on the uneven bars earned the first ever perfect 10 score in Olympic gymnastic history (although the scoreboard was ill-prepared and showed a 1.00) and this merely marked a sign of things to come with a further six 10s earned on her way to claiming the all-around, beam and bar titles.
Jackie Joyner-Kersee – Heptahalon/Long Jump
American athlete Joyner-Kersee is widely considered one of the best all-round sportswomen of all time and rightly so.
One Olympic and two World Championship gold medals for long jump are certainly something to brag about but the gold medals she took at the 1988 and 1992 Olympics for heptathlon – arguably the toughest event at the competition – mark her out as a devastating all-rounder.
Ronda Rousey – MMA/UFC
It may be too early in her UFC career to tell if Rousey will go down as one of the all-time greats but all the signs are pointing that way.
The 28-year-old claimed a bronze medal in Judo at the 2008 Olympics but it is her unbeaten MMA career, which has seen her crowned Bantamweight Champion – a title she has already defended five times – which has got the world excited.
Following her recent 14-second demolition of Cat Zingano, the California native claimed she could beat “100 per cent’ of the men in her weight category and we’re not going to argue with her!
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