Konstanze Klosterhalfen had to sit down on the floor in the catacombs of the Olympic Stadium, completely exhausted – and a little later tearfully break off the media marathon after finishing eighth over 10,000 meters. “I’m pretty exhausted and cold,” said the 24-year-old and added: “I’m very grateful to be able to stand here and for everyone who brought me here.” Then her voice broke.
In 31: 01.97 minutes, in a tough race, Klosterhalfen was only 26 hundredths of a second above their German record set in Austin / Texas at the end of February – and in the end they had no chance in the fight for the medals. Olympic champion was Sifan Hassan from the Netherlands in 29: 55.32 minutes, who had previously won gold over 5000 meters and bronze over 1500 meters. Silver went to Kalkidan Gezahegne from Bahrain (29: 56.18), while world record holder Letesenbet Gidey from Ethiopia won bronze (30: 01.72).
Nevertheless, Klosterhalfen, who competes for Bayer Leverkusen and trains in the USA, was at peace with herself. Because of a stress syndrome in the pelvis, the 24-year-old had to sit out longer this year. “The season was a challenge,” said Klosterhalfen before their appearance in the Olympic Stadium. After the race, she said: “It’s really weird. I think my feelings changed three times after the finish line when I could think again. We thought Top 8 was really awesome. That makes me really proud and happy. “
“And at some point I got cold”
After about a third of the race, a 15-strong leading group formed, at the end of which Klosterhalfen stayed. When world record holder Gidey picked up the pace a little later at the top, a large gap immediately arose that could no longer be closed. All hopes for a medal were gone early on. “It was pretty hot, but it was also really oppressive. And at some point I got cold, ”said Klosterhalfen. “But I’m super happy that I did it that way. For eight weeks of training, that only motivates me more. “
She hadn’t expected precious metal anyway because of the problems this season. The decision to start over the long distance was made out of sheer common sense because, unlike the 1500 or 5000 meters, she did not have to qualify for the finals there. Saving strength was the order of the day for the fourth place in the World Cup over 5000 meters.
She is now taking the Olympic final as the starting signal for the rest of the season, in which Klosterhalfen still wants to contest a few races. And in Paris 2024 at the latest, she would like to be involved in the medal battle: “Eighth place is not my claim. With only eight weeks of training, it doesn’t seem entirely utopian to me that I can get to where I’ve been before. “