Over 10,000 meters, Konstanze Klosterhalfen finished fourth at the European Athletics Championships, over the shorter distance she achieved the big triumph: the 25-year-old won the gold medal after a strong race to catch up over 5,000 meters.
The German record holder Konstanze Klosterhalfen surprisingly won the title over 5000 meters at the European Athletics Championships in Munich. The 25-year-old third-placed in the 2019 World Championship finished his triumphant run in 14:34.20 minutes on Thursday. "It's the best moment of my life," said Klosterhalfen, wrapped in the German flag. Three days earlier, the woman from Leverkusen had missed out on a medal in fourth over 10,000 meters. It was the first double start of her career in a big title fight - and that provided the first European Championship medal for a German runner over this distance.
Turkey's European 10,000m champion Yasemin Can finished second in 14:56.91 ahead of Britain's Eilish McColgan (14:59.34). Now Klosterhalfen seemed to have been significantly distanced in the meantime, Can ran for a long time from the top towards the next title. But then Klosterhalfen fought her way meter by meter, in the penultimate lap she finally caught up with the favorite and quickly overtook her to the cheers of the frenetic home crowd. In the last lap, the German extended her lead and ultimately ran unchallenged to the greatest success of her career.
"I wanted to run for myself, for the spectators, I have no words, I can't believe it," said Klosterhalfen on ARD. "It's a dream. I've never won a title, I haven't even dared to dream of a medal." Klosterhalfen, who lives in the USA and was weakened by a corona infection before the World Cup last month, said to the frenetic cheering from the around 35,000 fans: "I heard this sound, it was crazy."
Klosterhalfen had missed the final over 5000 meters at the World Cup in Eugene in her adopted home, weakened by the consequences of a corona infection. The exceptional runner had already "imagined this performance differently". Finally, after the World Championships at the Diamond League meeting in Chorzow/Poland, she showed good running performance again and finished seventh over 3000 meters. "Purely in terms of feeling, it was a clear difference to Eugene, because I felt that I was competitive again," she said and was happy to have "returned to his own racing feeling". Klosterhalfen has been training in Portland, Oregon, USA for three years and is the German record holder for a mile, 3,000, 5,000 and 10,000 meters.