Konstanze Klosterhalfen delivered an amazing solo performance at the German Championships on Saturday to smash the national 5000m record by more than 15 seconds to move to fourth on the European all-time list.
The country’s brilliant young distance star produced a memorable run at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin, where she finished fourth at the European Championships in Berlin last year, to win in an amazing 14:26.76 and break a mark which would have been 20 years old in September.
The record time of 14:42.03 held by Irina Mikitenko had stood since September 1999 and now, just under two months from this year’s IAAF World Championships in Doha, Klosterhalfen, 22, has put herself in the fray to challenge for her first global medal.
At the end of June she improved her own national 3000m record by nine seconds with 8:20.07 at the Diamond League in Stanford and on Saturday, ducking under the previous European record of 8:21.42 in a race won by Sifan Hassan in 8:18.49.
Making her season’s debut over 5000m on Saturday, Klosterhalfen broke her personal best by almost 25 seconds and, speaking to spiegel.de, said: “I wanted to run fast and see what happens, I am super happy that it worked that way.”
Konstanze Klosterhalfen runs a solo 14:26.76 to win the 5000m at the German Championships!
4km 11:37.65 pic.twitter.com/LWmirZJ2sV
— European Athletics (@EuroAthletics) August 3, 2019
It was a one-woman show as she took control early on, went through 3000m in 8:44.49 and won by a distance, with Alina Reh second in 15:19.42 and Miriam Dattke third in 15:41.81.
Klosterhalfen moves to fourth on the European all-time list ahead of Great Britain’s Paula Radcliffe, who held that spot with her famous run of the 14:29.11 at the 2004 European Cup in Bydgoszcz – where the competition in the form of the European Athletics Team Championships returns to on Friday.
It has, of course, been some year for the 5000m in Europe with Sifan Hassan breaking the European record in London last month with 14:22.12.
And now Klosterhalfen, who won silver in the 3000m at the European Indoor Championships in Glasgow, will be seeking more glory in Doha knowing she, too, is among the best Europe has ever produced.
Full results here.