For most sports men and women, clothing is all about functionality rather than looking good, with blood, sweat and tears usually putting paid to any attempts at a fashion statement.

However, that does not stop some of the best black athletes in the world setting new standards in the sport and the fashion stakes.

Here are just some of the black women turning heads in the ring, on the mat, court-side and in the water.

Laila Ali and Claressa Shields

Both these women claim to be the GOAT in their sport of boxing and have even made noises about the daughter of Muhammed Ali coming out of retirement so that they can battle each other in the ring.

It would be hard to choose where to place your free bet for that fight, especially seeing as the two atheletes’ combat styles are so different.

The same can be said for their style out of the ring, with Shields keeping it real in classic tracksuits and Ali keeping a flawless power woman look going on.

Simone Biles

There is no doubting Biles’ greatness, with other gymnasts having practically given up hope of ever matching her athletic capabilities.

The US star also knows how to dress up when she wants to, sporting slashed jeans or hot pants at home and going up a gear by wearing flowing elegant dresses on the red carpet.

Serena Williams

When you have dominated a sport as much as Serena Williams has then you can wear whatever the hell you want both on and off the court.

The younger Williams sister is all about pushing fashion boundaries, whether that is in tight black cat suits or pink tutus.

When she is not bossing the ladies of the WTA Tour, she even has her very own fashion line called S by Serena. Just take our money now, Serena, and keep doing what you do!

Caption: Serena is as comfortable in regular tennis attire as she is in a pink tutu

Simone Manuel

Simone Manuel defied expectations at the Rio 2016 Olympics, bringing back a major medal haul from her time spent in Brazil.

Out of the water she tends to opt for a low profile and dresses accordingly, sticking to the humble attitude and style that took her all the way to the pinnacle of her field.

Caption: Manuel stunned the world by winning a gold medal at Rio 2016

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