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Most Dominant Female Sprinters In the Summer Olympics

Modified 17 Feb 2021

The Sprint events in Athletics are one of the most exciting competitions at the Summer Olympics. It's an exhilarating experience to watch world-class sprinters spearhead the track and produce astonishing finishes.

In the long history of the Summer Olympics, the 100m and 200m sprint events are undoubtedly the most-watched and followed events. While the Olympics has seen sprinting legends like Usain Bolt, Carl Lewis and more, it also boasts a glorious legacy of world-class female sprinters.

#6 Gail Devers - USA

100m - 2 gold

Gail Devers
Gail Devers

Gail Devers was the most dominant American sprinter in 1990s. She scripted history by becoming only the second woman after Wyomia Tyus to defend an Olympic 100m title.

Her first Olympic victory came at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics in 100m, which ended in an exciting finish with five women finishing close. However, the photo finish declared Devers as the winner.

Later, the 100m final at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics was again a very close encounter where Ottey and Devers again finished at the same time. Eventually, Devers was judged to have landed first which allowed her to retain her Olympic title. Devers also helped the U.S. women's relay team by clinching gold at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

#5 Allyson Felix - USA

200m - 1 gold, 2 silver

Allyson Felix
Allyson Felix

Allyson Felix is one of the most decorated female American athletes at the Summer Olympics and is regarded as the undisputed queen of the track. With 6 golds and 3 silvers, across different events, the legendary sprinter has earned quite a record at the Summer Olympics.

The supremely talented sprinter made her debut at the 2004 Athens Olympics where she won silver in the 200m event, a feat which was repeated at the 2008 Beijing Games.

But it was at the 2012 London Olympics that bought an end to her quest for Olympic gold by winning 200m in 21.88sec.

Notably, Felix is known for her prowess at the Relay team event, winning successive titles from 2008 to 2016.

#4 Barbel Eckert-Wockel - Germany

200m - 2 gold

Barbel Eckert-Wocket is considered the most successful German female track and field athlete at the Olympics who specialized in 200m. Notably, the German sprinter won four Olympic gold medals, of which she won two in 200m and the others in the relay event.

At the 1976 Montreal Olympics, she made her debut at the grandest sporting spectacle and won 200m just 0.02s ahead of Annegrat Richter. She later defended her title at the 1980 Moscow Olympics.

#3 Wyomia Tyus - USA

100m- 2 gold


Wyomia Tyus was one of the most decorated American female track and field sprinters in 1960s. Moreover, she scripted history by becoming the first-ever athlete to retain the Olympic 100m title.

At the tender age of 19, she made her debut at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, where she won the final by beating compatriot Edith McGuire by 0.2sec.

She returned to the 1968 Mexico Olympics to defend her 100m title, thereby becoming the first athlete, male or female, to defend an Olympic 100m title.

Wyomia also contributed to the American women's relay team by winning gold at the 1968 Mexico Olympics and a bronze at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

#2 Veronica Campbell-Brown - Jamaica

200m- 2 gold

100m- 2 bronze

Veronia Campbell Brown
Veronia Campbell Brown

Veronica Campbell-Brown, simply known as 'VCB', is a Jamaican track and field athlete who specializes in 100m and 200m. At the 2004 Athens Olympics, she earned her first victories in the 100m and 200m events. While she came third in the 100m event, she became the first Jamaican in the history of the Olympics to win a sprint Olympic title since she came first in 200m.

Later, at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, she successfully defended her 200m title with her new personal best time of 21.74 s. Further, she qualified for the 2012 London Olympics in both 100m and 200m and finished third in the 100m event.


Veronica was also a part of the Jamaican Women's relay team and earned many medals in that event as well- Sydney 2000 (Silver), Athens 2004 (Gold), London 2012 (Silver), and Rio 2016 (Silver).

#1 Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce - Jamaica

200m- 2 gold, 1 silver

100m- 1 bronze

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is widely regarded as the greatest sprinter of all time and helped elevate Jamaican athletics on the International Circuit. Her prominence earned her the nickname 'Pocket Rocket', a reference to her petite height and explosive pace.

Since her first Olympic gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, she has been racking up victories, thereby making Jamaican history in the process.

At the age of 21, she earned her first Olympic Gold and became the first Jamaican woman to claim the Olympic 100m title.

Later, at the 2012 London Olympics, the diminutive sprinter became only the third woman after Wyomia Tyus and Gail Devers to retain the 100m Olympic title. A few days later, she added a silver medal to her kitty in the 200m category.

However, at the 2016 Rio Olympics, Fraser-Pryce failed to defend her title and settled for a bronze in the 100m event. Interestingly, the 32-year-old will double up in the Tokyo Games and will run in both 100m and 200m events.

Fraser-Pryce also helped the Jamaican women's relay team by clinching 2 successive silver medals at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympics.

Published 17 Feb 2021, 06:35 IST
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