6 Women You Should Know About in Kettlebell Sport

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It is an honor for us to pay homage and announce our picks of high level female athletes that have advanced Kettlebell Sport, both in their countries and around the globe, within the past year (2014).


We recognize that there are too many awesome women to list, and to simply rely on their personal achievements in the sport would not allow us to have a singular unified international standard for benchmarking.  Therefore, we decided the best way to implement the selection process was to use strict objective criteria based on answering the following questions:

  1. Which is the only competitive event contended by women across all countries (Snatch, Jerk, Biathlon, or Long Cycle)?  Snatch
  2. Which single international venue hosted the largest gathering of high level women athletes competing in Snatch within the past 12 months?  2014 IUKL World Championships in Hamburg Germany
  3. What is the minimum Snatch result an athlete must achieve to be considered “high level?”  100 reps of 24kg snatch  – based on the lowest requirement for Master of Sport rank in the Russian Federation & IUKL

We further eliminated prospects by only picking the one lifter with the absolute top result from the country represented regardless of weight classes or placing.


In order to make our list, athletes must satisfy ALL four criteria below:

  1. Qualified and competed in the 2014 IUKL World Championships
  2. Professional female lifter in 24kg Snatch
  3. Earned the top score for her country across all weight classes regardless of placing
  4. Earned a minimum of 100 repetitions

Based on our filters there were only six athletes that made our list.   Congratulations ladies for your achievements in 2014!


Russia:  Ksenia Dedyukhina – 189 reps
Team:  Chelyabinsk Region
Coaches: I. Denisov, I. Dedyukhin, M. Shapartko
Affiliation: Russian Girevoy Sport Federation


Kazakhstan: Tatiana Pokimtina –  154 reps
Team: N/A
Coach: Self
Affiliation: Federation of Kettlebell Lifting and Armwrestling of Kazakhstan Republic


Scotland: Abigail Johnston – 137 reps
Team: Scottish Kettlebell Club
Coach: Eddie Sheehan
Affiliation: Girevoy Sport Union


USA:  Melissa Swanson – 136 reps
Team: Ice Chamber
Coach: Steven Khuong
Affiliation: American Kettlebell Alliance


Ireland:  Kathleen Cleary – 115 reps
Team: Wexford Kettlebell Club
Coach: Mick Kelley
Affiliation: All Ireland Kettlebell Lifting Federation


Slovenia: Spela Zuzek – 111 reps
Team: Kettlebells Center
Coach: Gregor Sobocan
Affiliation: Slovenian Kettlebell Club


Check out their performances below!


1 Almagul Shamgonova , Kazakhstan (80)
2 Oksana Malinovska, Ukraine (85)
3 Kseniya Dedyukhina, Russia (189)
4 Ana Martinčić, Croatia (82)
5 Surya Voinar-Fowler, USA (81)
6 Clara O’Connor, Ireland (53)


1 Melissa Swanson, USA (136)
2 Irina Pianko, Russia (148)
3 Tatyana Potyomkina, Kazakhstan (154)
4 Abigail Johnston, Scotland (137)
5 Sandra Goodison, Ireland (73)
6 Kristiina Laine, Finland (75)


1 Claire Maidment , Australia (90)
2 Olga Maslovets, Ukraine (89)
3 Marina Makedonskikh , Russia (150)
4 Kirsi Suomela, Finland (95)
5 Svitlana Krechyk, USA (114)
6 Kathleen Cleary, Ireland (115)


1 Anna Plumridge, England (82)
2 Špela Žužek, Slovenija (111)
3 Ulle Miil, Estonia (64)
4 Wendy Segerink, Netherlands (87)
5 Maruša Karničar , Slovenija (54)