Sonia Lannaman

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Sonia Lannaman
Personal information
Born (1956-03-24) 24 March 1956 (age 59)

Sonia May Lannaman (born 24 March 1956) is a former British athlete, who competed mainly in the 100 metres. She won the Commonwealth Games 100 metres title in Edmonton 1978 and won an Olympic bronze medal in the 4 x 100 metres relay at the 1980 Moscow Games. In the 1977 Track and Field News world merit rankings, she was ranked number two in the world at both 100 metres (to Marlies Gohr) and 200 metres (to Irena Szewinska).


Lannaman was born in Aston, Birmingham, England and competed in her first Olympics in 1972 (held in Munich), where she set a British junior record of 11.45 sec. In 1973 she became European junior champion winning gold in the 100 metres, followed by a bronze in the 4 x 100 metres relay. In the 1974 Commonwealth Games in Christchurch she won a silver medal in the 4 x 100 m relay.

In 1976 Lannaman won a silver medal at 60 metres at the European Indoor Athletics Championships in Munich. In the summer of that year she made a major breakthorough into world class sprinting. She ran the 100 m in a hand-timed, wind assisted (+3.6) 10.8 sec. She also set a British record in the 200 metres. She was strongly tipped for medals in both sprints at the 1976 Montreal Olympics, but due to injury was unable to compete.

In 1977 Sonia Lannaman was ranked second only to world record holder Marlies Göhr in the 100 m. In the European Cup of that year she was second in both the 100 and 200 m and in the inaugural World Cup, second again in the 100 m and first in the 4 x 100 m representing Europe. She also ran the fastest ever electronically timed 100 m by a British woman with 10.93 sec in Dublin, which was wind assisted (+3.8), so did not stand for record purposes.

In 1978 Lannaman won the 100 m gold medal and 200 m silver medal in the 1978 Commonwealth Games for England and for Great Britain in the 1978 European Championships won a silver in the 4 x 100 m relay with team mates Kathy Smallwood-Cook, Beverley Goddard and Sharon Colyear.

In 1980, she ran her fastest official time in the 100 m of 11.20 sec in July, having set another British record in the 200 m of 22.58 sec in May. She competed again for Great Britain in the 1980 Summer Olympics held in Moscow, Russia in the 4 x 100 m relay, where she won the bronze medal with her team mates Heather Hunte, Kathy Smallwood-Cook and Beverley Goddard. She also reached the 200 m final, finishing eighth.

In 1982 Lannaman competed in her third Commonwealth Games, winning a gold in the 4 x 100 m relay.

She currently lives in the village of Chorley in Staffordshire.


Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing  Great Britain /  England
1972 Olympic Games Munich, West Germany quarterfinal 100 m 11.72 (11.45)
1973 European Junior Championships Duisburg, West Germany 1st 100 m 11.73
3rd 4x100 m 45.38
1974 Commonwealth Games Christchurch, New Zealand semifinal 100 m 11.93
2nd 4x100 m 44.30
European Championships Rome, Italy semifinal 100 m 11.53
1977 World Cup Düsseldorf, West Germany 2nd 100 m 11.26
1st 4x100 m 42.51
1978 Commonwealth Games Edmonton, Canada 1st 100 m 11.27
2nd 200 m 22.89
1st 4x100 m 43.70
European Championships Prague, Czechoslovakia 8th 100 m 11.67
semifinal 200 m 23.36
2nd 4x100 m 42.72
1980 Olympic Games Moscow, Soviet Union semifinal 100 m 11.38
8th 200 m 22.80
3rd 4x100 m 42.43
1982 Commonwealth Games Brisbane, Australia 9th 100 m 11.48
1st 4x100 m 43.15

Note: Results in brackets, indicate superior time achieved in earlier round.