Myriam Soumare burst on the scene in 2010, when she surprised all but her coach, Olivier Darnal, and won the European 200 meters. When one improves from 23.02 to 22.32, as this French dynamo did, Myriam took gold in Barcelona in 2010!
Myriam Soumare, 2014 Europeans, semi-finals, 200 meters, photo by PhotoRun.net
Myriam Soumare is a picture of energy. She gets out of the blocks well, but, it is in her race, from there on, that the French sprinter pumps her arm with determination, and she does not quit. Myriam Soumare is, as one might have said in a past time, indefatigable!
Watching Soumare during the rounds, She should be called le pocket-rocket Francaise. I am struck about how hard she works, and what I like is that she finishes each race as if she wants to win it! And, she does! Make no doubt about it! Myriam Soumare wants to be the best, not just in France, but in Europe, and soon….Myriam Soumare runs like she wants to dominate her events, as she charges down the track and fights for each step.
In the 100 meter final, Myriam Soumare took silver in 11.16. Dafne, NED, took the gold in 11.13 and Ashleigh Nelson, GBR, surprised in bronze in 11.22. The sprinters worked hard for their medals, as they ran into a minus 1.7 meters per second headwind!
Myriam was very happy with the silver medal in the 100 meters. She told the mixed zone:
“ I saw Dafne, she simply was better tonight. I would like to congratulate her. My silver medal is soooo beautiful for me, I am very satisfied. Today the best runner won. I gave everything I had. I just should not start to ask myself too many questions about how and why…”
Athletes are perfectionist. And someone, like Myriam, who has had the same coach for ten years, searches for that perfect race.
The 200 meters, was a different race, but also, for Myriam, not what she wanted to attain.
Dafne Schippers ran 22.03, the fastest time ever by a non-East German athlete in the European Championships. Jodie Williams, the GBR star who is coming into her own as a senior sprinter, took silver in 22.48. Myriam just had a race where she was ti
red, and Jodie Williams, who is developing into a sprinter with a stylistic final sprint in the 200 meters, went by, and Myriam took the bronze, in 22.58.
Myriam was crestfallen. She had wanted the gold medal so bad in the 200 meters, but, so did others. In the mixed zone, Myriam just let it out:
“(In tears) I knew that I could win this race. But then on the last 200m I started to feel tired, I did not have any energy left, I tried to fight but in vein. When I saw Williams get in front of me I knew that was it. I am very disappointed. It is true that I have a bronze medal but I already have one and I wanted another colour. As for the relay – I do not know now.”
It was the 4 x 100 meters that brought Myriam Soumare back to reality. Her fine performance on that team gave France the silver medal! Her third leg kept France in the race as GBR set a NR of 42.24 to Frances’ 42.45!
Myriam Soumare, putting her European Champs in perspective, noted: ” We turned the page from the Moscow Championships. Those championships were the most exhausting championships I have ever been to in my career. But I got three medals, this is brilliant! The problem in our French team is that we have soo many good sprinters, so every year different girls make it to the relay. There are never the same girls in the relay and we have to start again every year.”
For Myriam Soumare, the French pocket-rocket has Beijing in 2015 and Rio in 2016 to now consider.
All of France will be watching.