12 Best Female Weightlifters of all Time

Can you name a male weightlifter? Maybe you’ll remember Mark Henry from WWE or some other weightlifter. Now, name a female weightlifter? Struggling with it?

Well, after reading this article about the 12 best female weightlifters of all time, it won’t be tough for you.

There’s this fact that female weightlifting wasn’t included even in Olympics till the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Hence, the best female weightlifters remained out of the public eye.

Several female weightlifters have disproved this notion. In recent years, the championships, as well as the number of viewers, have increased. Yet, it seems that much of the world is not aware of the best female weightlifters of all time.

Don’t worry. In this list, we’ll be talking about the factors such as career records, career longevity, medals in the Olympics, and other prestigious title received by the 12 best female weightlifters.

12 Best Female Weightlifters of All Time

The 12 best female weightlifters of all time from different categories and both old as well as new athletes are included in the list below:

Rank Country  Name
1 Canada Maude Charron
2 Thailand Prapawadee Jaroenrattanatarakoon
3 China Liu Chunhong
4 Taiwan Hsu Shu-Ching
5 Taiwan Kuo Hsing-Chun
6 China Chen Yanging
7 China Wang Mingjuan
8 China Zhou Lulu
9 China Cao Li
10 South Korea Jang Mi-ran
11 Canada Christine Girard
12 Philippines Hidilyn Diaz

Hidilyn Diaz 12

Hidilyn Diaz, the Philippines’ first gold medalist, has demonstrated that there is no substitute for hard work. She competed in the Olympics for the first time in 2008. Unfortunately, the first Olympic performance was dismal.

Diaz finished second last out of 12 competitors. Her performance at the following Olympics, however, was slightly better, as she finished ninth.

The gold medalist from the Philippines exceeded her expectations by winning a silver medal at the 2016 Olympics. Hidilyn is also the only weightlifting athlete to have competed in all four Olympics.

Finally, she won a gold medal in the featherweight division at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Aside from that, she has a bronze medal from the World Championships in 2015, 2017, and 2019.

Her dedication demonstrates that anything is possible if we commit to our goal and work hard.

Christine Girard, 11

Christine Girard, the Olympic gold medalist in middleweight, was born in Canada. However, the majority of female weightlifting athletes are from Asian countries. Christine is an outlier in this regard.

Christine’s Olympic gold story is one of a kind. She finished third in the Olympic Games in 2012. However, in 2016, the gold and silver medalists from the 2012 Olympics were discovered to have used an illegal substance to boost their performance. So, four years later, she received a gold medal.

However, she demonstrated her impressive performance in the Commonwealth Games by winning gold and silver medals.

The gold medalist from the 2011 Pan American Games, standing 5 feet 3 inches tall, sets a middleweight clean and jerk record.

Jang Mi-ran 10

Jang Mi-ran of South Korea has won Olympic and World Championship gold medals in weightlifting. As a result, she is widely regarded as one of the greatest weightlifters of all time. She competes in the 75+kg weight class.

From 2005 to 2009, Jang Mi-ran won four consecutive World Championship gold medals. She also won Olympic gold between 2005 and 2008.

As a result, she is regarded as one of the best weightlifters of the late 2000s. Similarly, she broke the world record for snatch with 140 Kg in 2008. She then lifted 326 kilograms in the finals to win the coveted gold medal.

Similarly, Jang won a bronze medal in the 2012 Olympics. In addition, she won a silver medal at the 2004 Olympics.

She is now retired and lives in South Korea, where she is well-known for her raw strength and power.

9. Cao Li

Cao Li, a two-time World Champion, was one of the most impressive weightlifters of the late 2000s. Weightlifting was something she did since she was a child.

At the age of 18, she transitioned from the national to the international circuit. At the age of 20, she won the Junior World Championship. She competed in the 65 kg category at first, then the 69 kg category, and finally the 75 kg category.

Cao Li won the majority of her medals in the 75kg category but died at the age of 21.

In addition, the Chinese weightlifter won two gold medals in the East Asian Games and one gold medal in the Asian Games. She had also won an Olympic gold medal; however, her gold medal from the 2008 Olympics was disqualified in 2017 due to a doping violation.

8. Lulu Zhou

The inclusion of weightlifting in the Olympics inspired many women to pursue a career in weightlifting. Zhou Lulu sat at home and watched the 2004 Olympics. She became interested in weightlifting after seeing female weightlifters.

Lulu made a name for herself in the following years by winning several medals for her country. Zhou Lulu, a Chinese heavyweight athlete, has won gold in both the Olympics and the World Championship.

She set the world record in her weight category in 2012, lifting 333 kg. As a result, she won her first Olympic gold medal. Similarly, she won the 75+ weight category at the 2011 World Championship and then silver at the 2013 World Championship.

7.Mingjuan Wang

China has produced many outstanding female weightlifters over the years. Wang Mingjuan is one of China’s best weightlifters. Her career has been adorned with gold medals.

Aside from two gold medals at the Asian Games, she also has a gold medal at the Olympics (2012) and four gold medals at the World Weightlifting Championship.

Wang won her first gold medal at the World Championships in 2002. Similarly, she last won a gold medal in the Olympics in 2012. Throughout her career, she always managed to stay fit and win trophies.

She competes in the flyweight division, which weighs around 48 kg. Wang Mingjuan has also set a number of records throughout her career.

6. Chen Yanging

Chen Yanging set a record by winning two consecutive gold medals at the Olympics. She won gold in the lightweight category in 2004 and 2008. Previously, no female weightlifter had won two gold medals in a row.

During her early years, she was regarded as one of the best young weightlifters. Chen was the winner of two Junior World Championships. She was clearly promising from the start.

Unfortunately, she was not chosen for the Olympics in 2000. As a result, her performance plummeted, and she failed to win the national championship.

She stopped weightlifting a year later and resumed her normal life. Fortunately, her coach approached her in 2004 and convinced her to resume training. She worked even harder than before, and she went on to make history.

Chen is currently regarded as one of the greatest weightlifters of all time. Her success inspired many Chinese girls to pursue a career in weightlifting.

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5. Hsing-Chun Kuo

One of the best weightlifters today is the current Olympic champion in the 59 kg category. She has an illustrious career, having won five Asian Games gold medals, four World Championship golds, and two Universiade golds.

Her journey is all the more inspiring because she is a member of Taiwan’s indigenous tribe. Hsing-family Chun’s was impoverished. Her grandmother looked after her while her mother worked to provide for her.

Kuo was an active student at her school. The Olympian was involved in a variety of sports during her school years. Finally, in high school, she decided to concentrate on weightlifting.

In her career, she has set 11 world records. Kuo is also the current World Champion in the 59 kg weight class.

4. Hsu Shu-Ching

In her adolescence, this Taiwanese athlete switched from basketball to weightlifting. It proved to be a masterstroke, as she went on to win two Olympic gold medals, as well as World Championship and Asian Games titles.

Hsu Schu-Ching was favored by luck because her coach had also won a bronze medal in the World Championship. Her performance improved significantly as a result of this.

She also won two gold medals in a row in 2012 and 2016. Hsu won gold in 2012 after the previous winner, Zulfiya, failed an anti-doping test. Throughout her career, she also set several records.

She has also won gold at the Asian Games and the Asian Championship.

She decided to retire from her career in 2018, citing injuries as the primary reason.

3. Liu Chunhong

The majority of the female weightlifters are Chinese. Many Chinese athletes went on to dominate the world stage of weightlifting in the 2000s.

Liu Chunhong is a weightlifter from China who has won gold medals at the Olympic, World Championship, and Asian Games.

Her Olympic medal from 2008, however, was stripped because she violated doping rules. As a result, she received a lot of criticism from the Chinese people. Her Olympic medal from 2004 remains valid, however. During her senior year, she set numerous records.

Prapawadee Jaroenrattanatarakoon No. 2

Prapawadee Jaroenrattanatarakoon, also known as Prapawadee J., is another Thai Olympian on our list. She has also won a bronze medal at the World Championships and a silver medal at the Asian Games.

She made her international debut in 2005, when she took bronze in the World Championship. Unfortunately, she became more vulnerable to injury as a result of that. Fortunately, the injury was only a minor setback in her career, as she went on to win an Olympic Gold medal after recovering.

She is one of Thailand’s most prolific weightlifters, with a personal best of 29 kg snatch (2005) and 126 kg clean and jerk (2009)

1. Charron, Maude

Maude Charron is the best female weightlifter of all time, and we saved her for last. Charron is currently the world champion in the 64 kg weight class.

Charron is Canada’s second female gold medalist in weightlifting. She also broke the record for the most weight lifted by a Canadian in the 64 kilograms category at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Maude has also won gold at the Pan American and Commonwealth Games. She has also won a silver medal at the World Championship.

She is regarded as one of the best weightlifters in the world right now. Her recent Olympic and Pan American Championship victories have increased her fame and legacy.


Women’s weightlifting has a bright future. All of the young talents are getting better opportunities and exposure. These names, like male weightlifters, will become household names in the coming days.

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