The Fittest 50 Women (Sports Illustrated, 2016)

Who is the fittest female athlete in sports? A panel of experts was recruited by the magazine Sports Illustrated to list who they considered the current fittest athletes in sports in 2016 - what they called the "Fittest 50".

Athletes were considered based on performances in the previous last 12 months. The athletes were assessed based on characteristics that define fitness and conditioning: strength, speed, endurance, agility, flexibility and skill in her respective sport.

The top-ranked female athlete was heptathlete Jessica Ennis-Hill. In the men's category, the top athlete was decathlete Ashton Eaton, another multi-event track and field athlete. Sports Illustrated have also created similar lists of the fittest females in 2014, 2017 and 2019. See more about rating the World's Fittest Athletes.

The Top 20 Fittest Women

Here are the top-20 of the SI Fittest 50 women.

rank Name Sport
1 Jessica Ennis-Hill Track and Field
2 Allyson Felix Track and Field
3 Simone Biles Gymnastics
4 Katie Ledecky Swimming
5 Serena Williams Tennis
6 Gwen Jorgenson Triathlon
7 Claressa Shields Boxing
8 Maggie Steffens Water Polo
9 Holly Holm MMA
10 Kerri Walsh-Jennings Beach Volleyball
11 Jenn Suhr Track and Field (Pole Vault)
12 Meghan Duggan Ice Hockey
13 Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce Track and Field (Sprints)
14 Ashima Shiraishi Rock Climbing
15 Samantha Briggs CrossFit
16 Gabby Douglas Gymnastics
17 Ali Krieger Football (Soccer)
18 Maya Moore Basketball
19 Ronda Rousey MMA
20 Missy Franklin Swimming


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Lists Extra

Football/Soccer is clearly the world's most popular sport, and has the most popular athletes, but which sport has the fittest players (but not necessarily the greatest athlete). These players do not always earn the most. The best of the best have made it to our 7 Sporting Wonders Lists.

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