Top-10 World’s Best Female Weightlifters

World's Best Female Weightlifters
AFP Photo via Yahoo Sports

Who is the best female weightlifter in the world?

Weightlifting as a sport involves an athlete attempting to lift a barbell loaded on both ends with weight plates. It is one of the most dangerous games in the world. The competition with roots in ancient Egypt, Greece, and China is divided into two competitive events, the snatch and the clean and jerk events. 

Throughout generations, weightlifting has undergone a series of developmental stages, and in the early 2000s, the strength athletic sport was introduced in the Olympics. Interestingly, a competition with a high demand for physical strength is both embraced by both genders, with women recording notable feats since the history of the sport.

SportyTell gives an insight into the top-10 best female weightlifters in the world. These strong women have achieved great feats in their weight categories.

The Best Female Weightlifters in the World

10. Maiya Maneza

  • Country: Kazakhstan
  • Events: 63 kg

Maneza from Kazakhstan is a regular face in the weightlifting competition. Currently competing in the 63 kg category, she won a gold medal in the same class after lifting 245 kg at the London 2012 summer Olympics. Sadly she was later stripped of the medal in a doping allegation controversy. Still, she remains a force to reckon with in the weightlifting competition.

9. Svetlana Podobedova

Svetlana Podobedova 2012
Photo: CC BY 2.0
  • Country: Kazakhstan
  • Events: –75 kg

Kazakh Podobedova is another top name in weightlifting sports. The 34-years old won a gold medal in the 2012 summer Olympics in the women’s 75kg category lifting 291 kg and setting a record in the process. Unfortunately, five years later, a retest of athletes who participated in the 2012 summer Olympics took place following the Russian doping scandal; it resulted in her been stripped off the medal as she tested positive for a banned substance – Stanazolol. Despite that setback, she is still one of the best female weightlifters to grace the sport.

8. Tang Gonghong

  • Country: China
  • Event: +75 kg

Of Chinese origin, Gonghong is a professional weightlifter. She competed in the 2003 Afro-Asian Games and 2004 Summer Olympics. Gonghong became the strongest woman in the world after clinching a gold medal in the over 75 kg class, having lifted 182.5 kg successfully in the clean and jerk event.

7. Zulfiya Chinshanlo

Zulfiya Chinshanlo
  • Country: Kazakhstan
  • Events: 53 kg

Chinshanlo, like a few of her contemporaries, hit the peak of her career in the 2012 London Olympics. The 26-year-old sets a record in the weightlifting sport after lifting 131 kg in the summer Olympic in London. Before that, she put up an impressive performance at the 2010 Summer Youth Olympics. November 2012 saw her won the best Asian athlete award along with two others. Sadly, she was later stripped of all medals in a failed doping controversy.

6. Ngangbam Chanu

Ngangbam Soniya Chanu
Photo: Sportskeeda
  • Country: India
  • Events: 48 kg

Ngangbam Chanu is an Indian weightlifter. Her performance hasn’t been phenomenal, but above average. Compared to her contemporaries, she possesses the required quality to live up to the shine considering most of her fellow rivals in the weightlifting sport who achieved success were later stripped of awards and medals they won. In the 2010 commonwealth games, she won a silver medal in the women’s 48kg category and placed 7th in the 2012 summer Olympics in the women’s 48kg category.

5. Beatriz Piron

Beatriz Piron
Beatriz Piron / Instagram
  • Country: Dominican Republic
  • Events: 48 kg

Of Dominican descent, Beatriz Piron showed her potential for the weightlifting competition sweeping various youth championship and winning several medals. Her success in different youth competitions earned her a spot in the weightlifting Olympic team representing the Dominican Republic in the 2012 London Summer Olympic. She finished 9th place in the women’s 48 kg weightlifting category and the following Olympic in Rio she placed 4th in the 48 kg category as she lifted 85 kg in snatch and 102 kg in clean and jerk. Just one more kilo, and she would have clinched the bronze medal.

4. Jang Mi-ran

Jang Miran – 2012 London Olympic Games
Photo: Korean Culture and Information Service / CC BY-SA
  • Country: South Korea
  • Events: +75 kg

2004 summer Olympic saw the South Korean strong woman win a silver medal in the +75 kg category. That was the onsets on her path to winning ways in the weightlifting sport. Three years later, she earned her third consecutive world championship title in the +75 kg after lifting a total of 319 kg.

2008, she struck again in her victory ramp as she won a gold medal in the Olympics and broke the world record in the snatch, clean and jerk weightlifting event, as she lifted a record 140 kg in snatch and 186 in clean and jerk. 2010 saw her complete what you could term the weightlifting “Grand Slam” as she emerged champion in that year, summer Olympics, the Asian Games, and the World Championship.

In her final Olympic appearance in London 2012, she surprisingly didn’t win any medal. However, in a twist of fate four years later, after a series of doping scandals, which saw various athletes stripped of their medals, she was named the bronze medal winner in London in the 75 kg weightlifting category.

3. Christine Girard

Christine Girard - 2010 Commonwealth Games
Photo: GODL-India
  • Country: Canada
  • Events: 63 kg

The Canadian weightlifter first stormed the scene in 2002 Commonwealth Games, where she won the bronze medal. 2007 Pan American Games, she clinches silver medal and finishes 8th at the World Weightlifting Championships that same year. At this point, she was getting acquainted with the pressure of the competition. Came 2012, in the Olympics, she won a gold medal, thus, becoming the first Canadian female to win a gold medal in the weightlifting competition. Currently, in the clean and jerk weightlifting event, she holds the Commonwealth Games record and Pan-American Games record.

2. Liu Chunhong

Liu Chunhong – Weightlifting Legend
Photo: Reuters via
  • Country: China
  • Events: 69 kg

Chunhong, a Chinese female weightlifter, rose to prominence at the 2003 World Weightlifting Championships, where she won in the 69 kg division and set ten new world records. At the 2004 Summer Olympics, she emerged victorious again, winning a gold medal in the 69 kg category. She continued in her success at the 2007 World Weightlifting Championships as she won a silver medal in the snatch competition of 69 kg category lifting 121 kg. 

At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, she clinched a gold medal in the 69 kg division in the snatch, clean and jerk events setting a world record in the process as she lifted a total of 286 kg. Liu Chunhong is the first woman to successfully defended her title in the sports of weightlifting.

1. Zhou Lulu

Zhou Lulu - Top Female Weightlifter
AFP Photo via Yahoo Sports
  • Country: China
  • Events: +75 kg

32-year-old Zhou Lulu became the best female weightlifter after an intriguing performance at the 2011 world weightlifting championship in Paris. There, Lulu won a gold medal in the women’s super heavyweight category after setting an aggregate world record, lifting a total of 328 kg. Zhou Lulu followed up the impressive feat in the 2012 London Olympics. Lulu won the gold medal in the women’s +75 kg division, lifting a total of 333 kg outwitting her previous performance in Paris to set a new world record.

What are your thoughts on the best female weightlifters in the world? Please feel free to share it in the comment section below.

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