The German record holder Konstanze Klosterhalfen surprisingly won the title over 5000 meters at the European Athletics Championships in Munich. The best German runner has already secured the fifth title for the hosts. 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. 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 major title fight.
Three years ago, Klosterhalfen celebrated her greatest success with World Cup bronze in Doha. Over the ten kilometers she finished fourth in Munich.
In this race she had not been able to follow Can’s pace, this time she caught up with the Turkish woman and was more than six seconds ahead of her at the finish. “I wanted to run for myself, for the spectators. I have no words, I can’t believe it,” Klosterhalfen said on ARD. “It’s a Dream. I’ve never won a title, I didn’t even dare to dream of a medal.”
Sara Benfares from Rehlingen came in twelfth place. Alina Reh from Berlin had to give up. Can was second in 14:56.91 minutes ahead of Britain’s Eilish McColgan (14:59.34).
Regarding the frenetic cheering from around 35,000 fans, Klosterhalfen, who lives in the USA, said: “I heard this sound, it was crazy.” Klosterhalfen didn’t let the significantly cooler temperatures stop her. An hour and a half before the scheduled start of the competitions in the Olympic Stadium, it began to rain heavily.
Because of the thunderstorm, athletes had to be patient on the fourth day of competition. The organizers asked all spectators to take shelter under the roof of the Olympic Stadium from the heavy rain. Then the mood was as frenetic as on Tuesday when sprinter Gina Lückenkemper and decathlete Niklas Kaul won gold.
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 “regained his own racing feeling”.