Myriam Soumaré

Myriam Soumaré (born 29 October 1986) is a retired French track and field sprinter.[1] She announced her retirement from athletics in February 2016.

Myriam Soumaré
Myriam Soumare by Augustas Didzgalvis.jpg
Soumaré in 2013 World Championships in Moscow
Personal information
Nationality France
Born (1986-10-29) 29 October 1986 (age 33)
Paris, France
Height167 cm (5 ft 6 in)
Weight57 kg (126 lb)
Event(s)50 metres, 60 metres, 100 metres, 200 metres, 400 metres, 4 x 100 m relay, 4 x 400 m relay
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)100m outdoor: 11.03 s (Zurich, 2014)(-0.4)
200m outdoor: 22.11 s (Brussels, 2014)(+0.1)

Athletics careerEdit


Soumaré made her Olympic debut at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. She competed in only one event - the 4 x 100 meters relay together with Muriel Hurtis-Houairi, Lina Jacques-Sébastien and Carima Louami. In their first round heat they did not finish and were eliminated, due to a mistake with the baton exchange.[1]

In her debut World Championships appearance at 2009, Soumaré took part in only one event - the 100 metres. She was eliminated in the quarter-finals of that event.

2010 - three medals at the European ChampionshipsEdit

At the 2010 European Championships - her debut appearance in the European Championships - in Barcelona, Soumaré won the gold medal in the 200 metres with a time of 22.32 seconds in lane 8, shaving her previous personal best time by 0.69 second in doing so. She also won the 4 x 100 metres relay silver medal and the 100 metres bronze medal with a personal best time of 11.18 seconds, which was an improvement of 0.16 second over her previous personal best time.[2]


At the 2011 World Championships in Daegu, Soumaré participated in three events - the 100 metres, 200 metres and 4 x 100 metres relay. She was eliminated in the semi-finals of the 100 and 200 metres events. Her 4 x 100 metres relay team finished in fourth place in the final.

2012 - 7th in the 200m Olympic finalEdit

Soumaré represented France in three events at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London: 100m, 200m and 4 x 100m relay. She finished seventh in the 200m final in a time of 22.63 sec. She achieved the 11th fastest time in the 100m semi-finals and thus did not qualify for the final. In the first round heats of the 4 x 100m relay, her team botched its last two baton exchanges and was disqualified for out-of-zone baton exchange.[3]

Soumaré was the 200 metres runner-up of the 2012 IAAF Diamond League, behind Charonda Williams.

2013 - European Indoor Championships 60m silver medalEdit

Soumaré won her first European Indoor Championships medal at the 2013 European Indoor Championships - a silver for the 60 metres. She had initially won the bronze. But the initial winner of the 60m final, Tezdzhan Naimova, was stripped of her gold medal after being found guilty of doping during the competition. Soumaré was thus elevated to receive the silver medal.[4]

At the 2013 World Championships in Moscow, Soumaré took part in three events - the 100 metres, 200 metres and 4 x 100 metres relay. She was eliminated in the semi-finals of the 100 and 200 metres events. Her 4 x 100 metres relay team finished the third fastest among the 19 national teams taking part in the heats, and thus qualified for the final. In the final, the French team - consisting of Céline Distel-Bonnet, Ayodelé Ikuesan, Soumaré and Stella Akakpo running in the first, second, third and fourth legs respectively - finished the race in second position (42.73 seconds) behind Jamaica. The French relay team members were duly presented their silver medals during the medal ceremony. After the medal ceremony, the British team filed a protest against the French team, claiming that the latter had an out-of-zone baton handover between Ikuesan and Soumaré. More than two hours after the race, the French relay team was officially disqualified. The French delegation appealed against their disqualification, but it was in vain. Consequently, the American team was upgraded to the silver medal and the British team received the bronze medal. Bernard Amsalem, the president of the Fédération française d'athlétisme, called the French team's disqualification "an outrage". He explained that normally the decision to disqualify a team had to be made before the medal ceremony and teams had to file protests within thirty minutes from the end of the race.[5]


Soumaré took a year off from athletics in 2015.[6]


On 24 February 2016, Soumaré announced her retirement from athletics, while leaving open the possibility of making a comeback in the future.[7]

Personal lifeEdit

Soumaré's parents are of Mauritanian origin. She has four siblings and is a Muslim. She lives with them in the northern Paris suburb of Villiers-le-Bel.[8]

Soumaré works as a childcare assistant in a childcare centre. She wears a headscarf in her daily life but takes it off when she is on the track.[9]

Soumaré gave birth to her first child, a boy, in June 2015.[10]

Results in the finals of international competitionsEdit

  • Note: Only the position in the final is indicated, unless otherwise stated
Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing   France
2007 European U23 Championships Debrecen, Hungary 3rd 100m 11.68 (wind: -2.0 m/s)
6th 4x100 m relay 44.34
2009 Mediterranean Games Pescara, Italy 2nd 100 m 11.46 (wind: +1.0 m/s)
1st 4x100 m relay 43.79
2010 World Indoor Championships Doha, Qatar 7th 60 m 7.29
European Championships Barcelona, Spain 3rd 100 m 11.18 (wind: -0.6 m/s)
1st 200 m 22.32 (wind: +0.1 m/s)
2nd 4 x 100 m relay 42.45
2011 European Indoor Championships Paris, France 7th 60 m 7.24
World Championships Daegu, South Korea 4th 4 x 100 m relay 42.70
2012 European Championships Helsinki, Finland 3rd 200 m 23.21 (wind: -1.3 m/s)
Olympic Games London, England 7th 200 m 22.63 (wind: -0.2 m/s)
2013 European Indoor Championships Gothenburg, Sweden 2nd 60 m 7.11
4th 4 x 400 m relay 3:28.71
European Team Championships Gateshead, England 2nd 100 m 11.66
2nd 200 m 23.05
World Championships Moscow, Russia 3rd (heats) 4 x 100 m relay 42.25
2014 European Championships Zurich, Switzerland 2nd 100 m 11.16
3rd 200 m 22.58
2nd 4 x 100 m relay 42.45

: Disqualified in the final.

Medal recordEdit


  1. ^ a b "Athlete biography: Myriam Soumaré". Archived from the original on September 16, 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-30.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link),, ret: Aug 30, 2008
  2. ^ "Soumaré – from modest beginnings to triple European medallist". IAAF website. 14 Dec 2010.
  3. ^ "Le 4x100 français disqualifié". L'Équipe. 9 August 2012.
  4. ^ "Bulgarian sprinter Tezdzhan Naimova banned for life after testing positive to banned steroid". ABC news. 18 September 2013.
  5. ^ "Athlétisme : cruelle issue pour Myriam Soumaré aux Mondiaux". La Gazette du Val d'Oise. 21 Aug 2013.
  6. ^ "Athlétisme : Myriam Soumaré prend sa retraite". Saphir News. 25 Feb 2016.
  7. ^ "Myriam Soumaré annonce sa retraite". L'Équipe. 24 Feb 2016.
  8. ^ "The 200-metre champion who prefers a nice long sleep". 2 Aug 2010.
  9. ^ "Meeting Areva: Myriam Soumaré, force tranquille du sprint français". 6 July 2013.
  10. ^ "Myriam Soumaré: "Je garde la porte ouverte"". FranceTVSport. 25 Feb 2016.

External linksEdit