Klosterhalfen: “My aim is to go under 14:20 for 5000m”

Konstanze Klosterhalfen
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Konstanze Klosterhalfen competes at the German Championships in Berlin where she smashed the national 5000m record

Konstanze Klosterhalfen has set six national records in 2019 but the outstanding German middle distance runner has highlighted three events in which she believes she can further improve.

The latest record Klosterhalfen took down was the long-standing mile mark of 4:21.59 in the Birmingham Diamond League on Sunday (18) which has become a meeting of career firsts for the German. 

It was in the Alexander Stadium two years ago when Klosterhalfen broke her first German senior record with 8:29.89 in the 3000m and the 22-year-old reached another landmark on Sunday, taking the first Diamond League victory of her career.

Klosterhalfen revised a national record which dated back to 1985 in terms of antiquity with her winning time of 4:21.11 but she told European Athletics the ceiling for improvement at the distance is still very high. “I’m very happy with my improvement but I think I can run faster in the mile,” said Klosterhalfen, who was among the athletes who commented on an unfavourable wind that swirled unremittingly around the track. 

Klosterhalfen has run faster for the distance already, clocking 4:19.98 at the Millrose Games in New York this February. She also broke the national indoor 1500m record en route with 4:02.70 before a staggering last 800 metres at the German Indoor Championships in Leipzig brought her handsomely inside her previous mark with 8:32.47.

Klosterhalfen’s hot streak was only extinguished by Laura Muir at the European Indoor Championships in Glasgow where she kept the home favourite at bay until the last lap. This was a prelude to some exceptional performances which were to follow on the outdoor stage. 

She eclipsed the previous European record when she finished second to training partner Sifan Hassan over 3000m in Stanford - 8:18.49 to 8:20.07 - before a sensational front running performance at the German Championships in Berlin yielded a significant and scintillating national record of 14:26.76.

“I wasn’t sure how it would go and what was in my legs. I knew I was in good shape and I really like to just run my race and the crowd was incredible.

“Sometimes I get a bit excited and not so patient so perhaps I could have been a bit more relaxed with a pacemaker but I’m happy with this but my aim is to go under 14:20,” said Klosterhalfen. 

A sub-14:20 clocking would take her inside the European record which is currently held by Hassan at 14:22.12 but any further assaults on the record books might be shelved until a later date as the IAAF World Championships in Doha begin to loom into view.

And there are certainly no immediate plans for Klosterhalfen to follow Hassan’s path and move up in distance. Another goal for Klosterhalfen is the outdoor 1500m record of 3:57.71 which has stood since the 1980 Olympic Games.

“It’s definitely my goal,” said Klosterhalfen. “I think my main distance is the 1500m and it is my favourite distance. I don’t know if I will make [the record] this year because of the World Championships being so late.

“I’m not sure what will happen in Doha but of course it’s a big step but I’m just looking forward to it and I will go back to training [in St. Moritz] now to improve. My aim is to improve step by step. I will do another 1500m and some speedwork and then we will decide which distance I will run in Doha.”