‘First lady of Polish sports’ Irena Szewińska wins prestigious all time ranking of female athletes

Dubbed the first lady of Polish sports, Irena Szewińska dominated women's athletics for nearly two decades. CCO

Polish sprinter Irena Szewińska has been posthumously named one of the greatest athletes of all time by the prestigious US magazine "Track & Field".

Dubbed the first lady of Polish sports, she dominated women's athletics for nearly two decades and remains the only athlete, either male or female, to have held a World record in the 100m, 200m and the 400m events.

Between 1964-1976, Szewińska won seven Olympic medals and five gold medals at the European Athletics Championships.Archiwum/PAP

Between 1964-1976, she won seven Olympic medals and five gold medals at the European Athletics Championships.

In a summary of rankings for the years 1956-2019, Track & Field magazine, which since 1956 has been publishing athletes’ rankings using scores from 1-10, noted that Szewińska notched up a total of 342 points in as many as six events - 100, 200, 400 metre runs, 400 m hurdles, long jump and heptathlon.

Szewińska notched up a total of 342 points in as many as six events - 100, 200, 400 metre runs, 400 m hurdles, long jump and heptathlon.Zbigniew Matuszewski/PAP

They also found that in over 60 years of rankings, Szewińska made no fewer than 43 ranking appearances and an incredible 16 Number ones.

She also appeared as 5th among the leaders of most points category for one event with a result of 131 result.

The magazine named Szewińska one of the greatest athletes of all time.Track & Field

 In 2012 she was among the first sportsperson to be included in the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Hall of Fame.

She died in 2018 at the age of 72.