All-Time Top Medalists in the Swimming World Championships – Women (Kazan 2015 Update)

Sadly, we reached the final part of our 2015 Swimming World Championships summary – the effect it had on the all-time medals leaders among the female swimmers. Sadly, because now it means that the Championship is really over. Forever. And nothing can bring it back. All we will be left with are the memories. And on this optimistic note, let’s move to the all-time tables.

Without Freddy Adu, I give you…

Most gold medals in Word Championships history – Women

Most Gold Medals All-Time (4+)

2013 Rankings

2015 Rankings

Rank

Swimmer

# of Gold Medals

Rank

Swimmer

# of Gold Medals

1

Missy Franklin

9

1

Missy Franklin

11

2

Kornelia Ender

8

2

Katie Ledecky

9

2

Lisbeth Trickett

8

3

Kornelia Ender

8

2

Natalie Coughlin

8

3

Lisbeth Trickett

8

5

Jenny Thompson

7

3

Natalie Coughlin

8

5

Katie Hoff

7

6

Jenny Thompson

7

5

Kristin Otto

7

6

Katie Hoff

7

5

Leisel Jones

7

6

Kristin Otto

7

9

Hannah Stockbauer

5

6

Leisel Jones

7

9

Inge De Bruijn

5

10

Hannah Stockbauer

5

9

Jessicah Schipper

5

10

Inge De Bruijn

5

9

Jodie Henry

5

10

Jessicah Schipper

5

9

Tracy Caulkins

5

10

Jodie Henry

5

9

Xuejuan Luo

5

10

Katinka Hosszu

5

15

Dana Vollmer

4

10

Tracy Caulkins

5

15

Federica Pellegrini

4

10

Xuejuan Luo

5

15

Heike Friedrich

4

17

Dana Vollmer

4

15

Jing Zhao

4

17

Emily Seebohm

4

15

Jingyi Le

4

17

Federica Pellegrini

4

15

Kate Ziegler

4

17

Heike Friedrich

4

15

Katie Ledecky

4

17

Jing Zhao

4

15

Rebecca Soni

4

17

Jingyi Le

4

15

Rosemarie Kother

4

17

Kate Ziegler

4

15

Ulrike Richter

4

17

Rebecca Soni

4

15

Yana Klochkova

4

17

Rosemarie Kother

4

17

Sarah Sjostrom

4

17

Shannon Vreeland

4

17

Ulrike Richter

4

17

Yana Klochkova

4

17

Yuliya Yefimova

4

We have 5 new additions to the 2013 table. Yuliya Yfimova – who won Russia’s only gold in Kazan, Shannon Vreeland – whose medals all came in the relays, Emily Seebohm – who OWNED the backstroke events, and Sarah Sjostrom – who PWNED the butterfly events – all joined the “4 gold medals” club and are all sharing the 17th place all-time. Katinka Hosszu, who was once again crowned as “Queen Of The Medleys”, added two golds to her resume and leapfrogged all that “4 gold medals” group, en route to 10th place on the all-time golden list.

Funnily enough, after Katinka we then have a drought of active swimmers until the top two spots, including the very interesting fact that no female swimmer in history won 6 gold medals! Is that number cursed? I bet it is.

The most interesting stuff happens at the top. The last two editions of the World Championships completely changed the leaders lists. Franklin already became the leader after Barcelona 2013, and she maintained her position after Kazan, by winning two more gold medals. However, the incomparable Katie Ledecky is already breathing down her neck. Katie jumped from 15th place to 2nd all-time, and at 18 years of age she already owns the second-most gold medals in World Championships history. AND she is in excellent position to claim the top spot, perhaps even in the next edition.

The difference between Ledecky and Franklin is 2 years, and Franklin only leads by two gold medals. Another “not-so-good” Championship as the one she had in Kazan and Ledecky will claim the number 1 spot. However, personally, I hope that Missy’s next Championships won’t be similar to her Kazan exploits but will be more like her Barcelona campaign. This way the battle between those two colossal swimmers for the #1 all-time spot can be awesome as fuck. They already, at 18 and 20 years of age – occupy the top 2 spots here, with no other active swimmer in sight. Why not extend their lead and become the Phelps and Lochte of the female swimming? Besides, it’s about fucking time that the female swimmers should have a decent leader in the gold medals department. The previous leaders – Ender, Coughlin and Trickett would have been ranked only 6th among the male swimmers with their 8 gold medals.

"OMG Katie, you realize that in two Chapioships we each won more gold medals than the all-time leaders until 2013?" "I know, right?! We are so awesome!"

“OMG Katie, you realize that in our first two Champioships each of us won more gold medals than the all-time leaders before us?”
“I know, right?! We’re so awesome!”

Most total medals in Word Championships history – Women

 

Most Total Medals All-Time (6+)

2013 Rankings

2015 Rankings

Rank

Swimmer

# of Total Medals (G,S,B)

Rank

Swimmer

# of Total
Medals (G,S,B)

1

Natalie Coughlin

20 (8,7,5)

1

Natalie Coughlin

20 (8,7,5)

2

Lisbeth Trickett

15 (8,3,4)

2

Missy Franklin

16 (11,2,3)

3

Jenny Thompson

14 (7,5,2)

3

Lisbeth Trickett

15 (8,3,4)

4

Leisel Jones

14 (7,4,3)

4

Jenny Thompson

14 (7,5,2)

5

Missy Franklin

11 (9,1,1)

5

Leisel Jones

14 (7,4,3)

6

Kornelia Ender

10 (8,2,0)

6

Ranomi Kromowidjojo

12 (3,4,5)

7

Jessicah Schipper

10 (5,4,1)

7

Kornelia Ender

10 (8,2,0)

8

Dana Vollmer

10 (4,4,2)

8

Jessicah Schipper

10 (5,4,1)

9

Jessica Hardy

10 (3,5,2)

9

Dana Vollmer

10 (4,4,2)

10

Shirley Babashoff

10 (2,7,1)

9

Emily Seebohm

10 (4,4,2)

11

Kristin Otto

9 (7,2,0)

9

Yuliya Yefimova

10 (4,4,2)

12

Ranomi Kromowidjojo

9 (3,1,5)

12

Jessica Hardy

10 (3,5,2)

13

Mary T. Meagher

9 (2,5,2)

13

Shirley Babashoff

10 (2,7,1)

14

Antje Buschschulte

9 (2,4,3)

14

Katie Ledecky

9 (9,0,0)

15

Jodie Henry

8 (5,1,2)

15

Kristin Otto

9 (7,2,0)

15

Tracy Caulkins

8 (5,1,2)

16

Katinka Hosszu

9 (5,0,4)

17

Kirsty Coventry

8 (3,5,0)

17

Federica Pellegrini

9 (4,4,1)

18

Yuliya Yefimova

8 (3,4,1)

18

Mary T. Meagher

9 (2,5,2)

19

Therese Alshammar

8 (2,5,1)

19

Antje Buschschulte

9 (2,4,3)

20

Marleen Veldhuis

8 (2,2,4)

20

Jodie Henry

8 (5,1,2)

21

Alicia Coutts

8 (0,7,1)

20

Tracy Caulkins

8 (5,1,2)

22

Katie Hoff

7 (7,0,0)

22

Sarah Sjostrom

8 (4,3,1)

23

Hannah Stockbauer

7 (5,1,1)

23

Kirsty Coventry

8 (3,5,0)

24

Xuejuan Luo

7 (5,0,2)

24

Therese Alshammar

8 (2,5,1)

25

Federica Pellegrini

7 (4,2,1)

25

Marleen Veldhuis

8 (2,2,4)

26

Petria Thomas

7 (3,2,2)

26

Alicia Coutts

8 (0,7,1)

27

Amanda Weir

7 (2,4,1)

27

Katie Hoff

7 (7,0,0)

28

Diana Munz

7 (2,3,2)

28

Hannah Stockbauer

7 (5,1,1)

28

Otylia Jedrzejczak

7 (2,3,2)

29

Xuejuan Luo

7 (5,0,2)

30

Britta Steffen

7 (2,2,3)

30

Petria Thomas

7 (3,2,2)

31

Yu Yang

7 (2,1,4)

31

Amanda Weir

7 (2,4,1)

32

Sandra Volker

7 (1,3,3)

32

Cate Campbell

7 (2,3,2)

33

Susan O’Neill

7 (1,2,4)

32

Diana Munz

7 (2,3,2)

34

Stephanie Rice

7 (0,2,5)

32

Otylia Jedrzejczak

7 (2,3,2)

35

Inge De Bruijn

6 (5,0,1)

35

Britta Steffen

7 (2,2,3)

36

Rosemarie Kother

6 (4,2,0)

36

Yu Yang

7 (2,1,4)

36

Yana Klochkova

6 (4,2,0)

37

Sandra Volker

7 (1,3,3)

38

Kate Ziegler

6 (4,1,1)

38

Susan O’Neill

7 (1,2,4)

38

Rebecca Soni

6 (4,1,1)

39

Stephanie Rice

7 (0,2,5)

40

Amy Van Dyken

6 (3,2,1)

40

Inge De Bruijn

6 (5,0,1)

40

Laure Manaudou

6 (3,2,1)

41

Rosemarie Kother

6 (4,2,0)

40

Manuella Stellmach

6 (3,2,1)

41

Yana Klochkova

6 (4,2,0)

43

Inge Dekker

6 (3,0,3)

43

Kate Ziegler

6 (4,1,1)

43

Katinka Hosszu

6 (3,0,3)

43

Rebecca Soni

6 (4,1,1)

45

Lotte Friis

6 (2,4,0)

45

Amy Van Dyken

6 (3,2,1)

46

Dagmar Hase

6 (2,3,1)

45

Laure Manaudou

6 (3,2,1)

47

Franziska Van Almsick

6 (2,2,2)

45

Manuella Stellmach

6 (3,2,1)

48

Emily Seebohm

6 (1,4,1)

48

Inge Dekker

6 (3,0,3)

48

Lacey Nymeyer

6 (1,4,1)

49

Lotte Friis

6 (2,4,0)

50

Katherine Heddy

6 (1,2,3)

50

Dagmar Hase

6 (2,3,1)

51

Annemarie Verstappen

6 (1,1,4)

51

Femke Heemskerk

6 (2,2,2)

51

Yafei Zhou

6 (1,1,4)

51

Franziska Van Almsick

6 (2,2,2)

53

Tara Kirk

6 (0,4,2)

53

Lacey Nymeyer

6 (1,4,1)

54

Katherine Heddy

6 (1,2,3)

54

Lu Ying

6 (1,2,3)

56

Annemarie Verstappen

6 (1,1,4)

56

Yafei Zhou

6 (1,1,4)

58

Tara Kirk

6 (0,4,2)

Here too we have 5 new additions to the all-time list. Lu Ying doubled her medals total in Kazan by winning 3, and she is ranked 54th. Femke Heemskerk, the veteran Dutch swimmer, won 2 medals and entered the all-time list in the 51st position. Cate Campbell was already close to entering the list, seeing as she had 5 medals before Kazan a,d the two medals she won put her in 32nd position. However, it will be two more years until she is joined by her awesome sister Bronte (currently has 5).

Sarah Sjostrom decided to take her talents to Kazan and by winning 5 medals she made a spectacular debut on this all-time list, crashing the 22nd position with her 8 medals in total. This is what a single great Championship can do! But of course it will be blasphemy to talk about spectacular debuts, without mentioning Latie Kedecky. Ledecky’s perfect 5-for-5 in Kazan completed her perfect 4-for-4 from Barcelona to make the best 9-medals-haul possible, and a MASSIVE debut in the 14th place! WOW! In Budapest she can even try to make it to the top 5. She’ll need 5 medals for that – not an unattainable goal. Damn!

And now for the swimmers who were already present in this exclusivest of lists, and who merely improved their positions. My beloved Federica Pellegrini maintained her habit of winning at least one medal in every Championship since 2005. She never won more than 2, but her persistence and diligence brought her 9 medals in total, and after Kazan she moved up 8 places, from 25th to 17th. If she will still compete in 2017, she can try both break the “10 medals” barrier and enter the top 10. A fine finish for a great career.

Yuliya Yefimova – I had no idea she’s THAT successful in World Championships! 10 medals?! WTF?! When the fuck did she win all of those, she’s 23! And she’s not the Franklin-esque or Ledecky-esque multi-medals winning type! But yes, this awesome Russian breaststroker won two more medals in Kazan to make it 10 medals overall, and gained herself an entry to the top 10. She still has 4 medals to go before she catches up with Leisel Jones, the greatest breaststroker in World Championships history, but hey – she’s only 23! I bet she’ll make it in 4 years, and maybe even in 2 if the stars will align for her as they did two years ago.

"What? I'm in the top 10?"

“What? I’m in the top 10?”

Katinka Hosszu, another hero of the 2015 Championships, did an amazing leap of 27 places, from 43rd before Kazan to 16th after it, just ahead of Pellegrini. But the biggest leap among women belongs to Emily Seebohm, who with her 4 medals haul jumped from being 48th into the top 10 (9th)! She has the exact same medals distribution as Yefimova, but the fact that she’s competing for Australia pretty much guarantees her extra medals in the relays. So I reckon she might have a go at the top 5 two years from now…

Another favorite swimmer of mine, who did not have a very good Championships, is Ranomi Kromowidjojo. Nevertheless, she still won 3 medals in Kazan, which brought her total to 12. And that pushed her upward, from 12th place all the way to 6th place all-time. Still only 24 (will be 25 in 3 days), she can definitely crack the top 5 in Budapest, but lacking gold medals, she will be at a disadvantage compared with the other ladies who have 14+ medals, and so the best solution for her is to try and win 3 medals and not 2. Still, entering the top 5 will be a huge achievement, especially considering how many more swimmers are planning on doing the exact same thing two years from now… She will have some fierce competition…

Last but not least – the great Missy Franklin. With just 3 Championships under her belt, Missy is already ranked 2nd all-time in terms of total medals, moving up from 5th place two years ago. The female Michael Phelps needs only 4 medals to claim the number 1 position, thanks to her superior internal medals distribution, and if I wasn’t abstaining from gambling after losing many shekels in high-school due to misplaced bets (for example, blinded by Bora Milutinovic’s legendary streak of taking four different teams to the second round, I betted that he’ll do the same with China in the 2002 World Cup… god damn it, Bora!) I would definitely bet on her to overthrow Natalie Coughlin in Budapest. With Franklin’s uncanny ability to win sooo many medals in a single Championships, she can take this record to places where only Michael Phelps has been before. For example, I reckon there’s a 50% chance that in 3 more Championships she’ll have 30 medals. Well, maybe a 40% chance. She’ll be 26 by then – still a very reasonable age for a swimmer. And while Ledecky is closing fast on her in the gold medals all-time list, she’s still very far in the overall medals department, and in fact they both won 5 medals in Kazan. I don’t know what’ll happen with Katie in the future and which events she will choose to compete in, but Missy already showed that she’s very versatile and that she goes for even 7 events at once – something that Ledecky has yet to do. So Franklin is the obvious choice for ruling and dominating this all-time total medals list Wayne-Gretszky-style in the future.

I got 99 medals but a gold ain't one. Who am I? Well, it's actually 8 and not 99, but then the reference to Jay Z is ruined.

I got 99 medals but a gold ain’t one.
Who am I?
Well, it’s actually 8 and not 99, but then the reference to Jay Z is ruined.

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One thought on “All-Time Top Medalists in the Swimming World Championships – Women (Kazan 2015 Update)

  1. Pingback: All-Time Top Medalists in the Swimming World Championships – Women | Michael's Sports Statistics

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