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Summer Olympics History: Great Britain's Top Women Olympians

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Great Britain's Women at the Summer Olympics

Great Britain has seen its women athletes contribute more podium finishes at the Summer Olympic Games as medal opportunities have increased over the past few decades.

A large number of their podium finishes have been earned in athletics, cycling, rowing, sailing, and swimming.

British women had their best performance to date at this year's London Games with six individual golds and 11 more golds in pairs or team events.

The following list includes brief information on the ten women that I consider the best for Great Britain since 1948:

Rebecca Adlington: Great Britain's most decorated Olympic swimmer in the last century, Adlington won golds at the Beijing Games in the 400 and 800-meter freestyles. She concluded her Olympic career with a pair of bronzes in the same events at the London Games.

Katherine Grainger: One of Great Britain's most successful rowers, Grainger has tallied four Olympic medals thus far, with her lone gold earned in the Double Sculls at this year's London Games.

Sally Gunnell: A top runner in the 400-meter hurdles in the 1990s, Gunnell took gold in the event at the Barcelona Games, and also won a bronze as a member of the 4x400 meter relay team in 1992.

Kelly Holmes: Holmes ran her way to three podium finishes between the 2000 and 2004 Olympics. She won bronze in the 800 meters in Sydney, and captured gold in the 800 and 1500 meters four years later at the Athens Games.

Denise Lewis: Lewis was a two-time Olympic medalist in the heptathlon. Her first podium finish was a bronze at the Atlanta Games, and she improved upon that finish four years later in Sydney with the heptathlon gold.

Victoria Pendleton: Pendleton achieved Olympic glory in cycling at the last two Olympics. She won the Sprint gold in Beijing, and then thrilled the home crowd this year with gold in Keirin and the Sprint silver.

Mary Rand: A superb all-around athlete, Rand won three medals in athletics in 1964 at the Tokyo Games. She set a world record in capturing the long jump title, took the silver in the pentathlon, and earned a bronze as a member of the 4x100 meter relay team.

Shirley Robertson: Robertson won a pair of golds in sailing, with one each at the 2000 and 2004 Olympics.

Laura Trott: Trott had a breakout performance at this year's London Games. The 20-year-old track cycling star pedaled her way to Team Pursuit and Omnium golds, and should be a solid bet for more podium finishes in 2016.

Sarah Webb: Another of Great Britain's recent standouts in sailing, Webb earned golds at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics.

Related content: Summer Olympics History: Great Britain's Top Olympians Before World War II

Patrick Hattman covered the London Games for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. He is already looking forward to the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

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