The legendary Polish athlete, Irena Szewińska was named the overall all-time best female performer by the prestigious sports magazine Track & Field News.
The magazine, issued since 1948, has been preparing the annual classification of top 10 female athletes in each discipline since 1956, granting ten points for the top and respectively fewer for lower positions in the ranking.
Ms Szewińska, who passed away in 2018 at the age of 72, gathered 342 points in the six events she started during official contests: the 100, 200 and 400 metres, the 400 metres hurdles, the long jump and the heptathlon. She won the overall ranking 55 points clear of the Jamaican sprinter Merlene Ottey and 105 more than the German Heike Drechsler.
Anita Włodarczyk, the two-time Olympic champion and current world record holder, won the hammer throw classification along with the German Betty Heidler.
During her successful career, Irena Szewińska won seven Olympic medals (three gold, two silver and two bronze) and numerous indoor and outdoor European Championships accolades. She was voted Polish Sports Personality of the Year four times. She remains the only athlete in history, male or female, to have ever held the world record in the 100m, 200m and 400m.