Endurance was required on this first day of competition at the European Athletics Championships in Munich.

The final decision was made shortly before 10:30 in the evening after 25 laps had to be completed on the red track: 10,000 meters for women.

Achim Dreis

sports editor.

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The long run did not turn out to be the triumph that Konstanze Klosterhalfen had hoped for.

After a strong start, she finished fourth.

Gold went to Yasemin Can from Turkey, originally from Kenya, who triumphed in 30:32.57 minutes.

Behind her, British Eilish McColgan (30:41.05) won silver ahead of Kenyan Lonah Chemtai Salpeter (30:46.37), who started for Israel.

Konstanze Klosterhalfen, with a personal best time of the season of 31:05.21 minutes, remained in the position that is commonly described as thankless.

"I had imagined it a bit differently," she said afterwards on ZDF and confessed that she was "a little disappointed".

At 9:48 p.m. sharp, 18 runners started this long progression run in the historic 1972 Olympic Stadium.

Two German runners were also in the race – in addition to Klosterhalfen, Alina Reh, the bronze medalist from the European Championships in Berlin 2018, who took eighth place this time (32:14.02).

In the initially dense field of long-distance runners, the 1.74 meter tall and only 48 kilo heavy Klosterhalfen stood out from the start.

Not only thanks to her bright yellow shoes.

She greeted her audience with a beaming smile and happily waving – and the audience returned with frenetic applause.

Nervous racehorses

A false start as an overture, that doesn't happen every day over this long distance.

The "nervous racehorses" were all cautioned and off we went.

First up were the two Brits Jessica Judd and Eilish McColgan, followed by Klosterhalfen in the yellow jersey with start number 448.

After four initially leisurely laps, the field split up for the first time, eight had to give up, ten stayed in front.

Klosterhalfen ran tactically clever in third position.

Two more laps later, the next gap opened up.

Even deer could no longer follow.

In addition to Klosterhalfen and the two Brits, Can was also involved at the front and defending champion Salpeter, who won in Berlin in 2018.

Can had finished fourth at the time.

The play of colors under the timelessly beautiful tent roof had changed over the course of the evening from Bavarian blue-white to bright pink-afterglow to menacing grey-violet.

But the weather held - the announced rain did not fall, but instead.

To the delight of spectators and runners.

Klosterhalfen had made itself rare

The German showpiece runner Klosterhalfen had made herself rare in her home country in the recent past and was regarded as the "phantom of the racetrack".

Since the 25-year-old has been training with her outfitter Nike in Portland, the Rhinelander has been viewed with a critical eye in this country.

However, she herself does not feel alienated from her homeland, as she said before the European Championship.

You will always be welcomed with open arms in Germany.

For that she is very grateful.

And this connection to the German audience was also noticeable over the course of the 25 laps in Munich's Olympic Stadium.

At the World Championships in Eugene in July, the multiple German record holder, who holds five national bests between one mile and 10,000 meters, was eliminated over 5,000 meters in the lead - albeit weakened by Corona.

This time she kept up well for a long time - but in the end it wasn't quite enough.

McColgan, Can, Klosterhalfen, Saltpeter.

These four emerged as medal candidates after almost a quarter of an hour.

Six laps before the end, Can then dared to make the decisive push and fled to the front.

The rest had to leave their ground.

And Klosterhalfen got into trouble and fell back a bit.

"Unfortunately, I couldn't keep up with the pace increase," she later said.

The field had now finally split extremely wide.

The loneliness of the long-distance runner was clearly evident, each of the 18 athletes ultimately fought for themselves.

The split field spread widely across the globe.

Austria's Julia Mayer was the last to cross the finish line in 33:57.29 minutes.

Klosterhalfen also wants to compete over 5000 meters at this European Championship.

In 2019 in Doha she had already won World Cup bronze over the twelve and a half rounds - her greatest international success to date.

She always wanted to try a double start, she said in the run-up to the European Championship.

In front of a home crowd is a good time for it.

A start has been made.

The last little bit might follow on Thursday, from 9:25 p.m.

Even then, perseverance will be required.