After her brilliant finish for European Championship gold in Munich's Olympic Stadium, she was definitely unstoppable.

"I could have kept running," enthused Konstanze Klosterhalfen: "It's the best moment of my life." And so the 25-year-old ran her laps of honor, radiant and light-footed, as if she hadn't had any of the twelve and a half laps before in wet and cold conditions trouble.

Achim Dreis

sports editor.

  • Follow I follow

European champion over 5000 meters, for the lightweight from Leverkusen it was hard to believe that she actually made it.

"I've never won a title, I never even thought I'd win a medal before.

I am incredibly happy.”

Through deep valleys to the summit

It was a long-running success for the greatest talented runner in German athletics, who holds five national records between a mile and 10,000 meters.

Because in the past three years she had to go through deep valleys to reach the Munich summit.

Only problems in both hips stopped her ambition.

Then she sustained a hamstring injury after a fall.

Finally, she brutally slowed down a corona infection.

At the World Cup four weeks ago, she was completely powerless in the lead-up.

After that she couldn't walk for three days, she felt so "broken".

Three years ago in Doha, the 1.74 meter tall and only 48 kilogram sports student with World Cup bronze had run to her first international medal and into the glaring limelight.

In order to be able to make even better use of her huge potential, she had previously decided to leave the Rhineland to work on her further career in the Oregon project of her outfitter Nike.

Hardly arrived in Portland, the local head coach Alberto Salazar was banned for violating anti-doping regulations, and the project was finally dissolved.

Klosterhalfen stayed anyway.

She trains under Salazar's former assistant trainer Pete Julian, who is considered unencumbered and also looks after her in Munich.

There they both considered whether, after Monday's disappointment when she finished fourth in the 10,000 meters at the European Championships, she should even start half the distance on Thursday.

But in the end, her desire to perform again in front of the great home audience prevailed.

What happened next was reminiscent of a rock concert.

The runner thrilled the spectators with her courageous run, who in turn shouted the runner to victory.

Or, as Konstanze Klosterhalfen put it: "I didn't run alone."