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Konstanze Klosterhalfen (born 18 February 1997) is a German athlete who competes in middle-distance running and the 5000 metres.[1] She is the 2019 IAAF World Championship bronze medalist in the 5000m event.

Konstanze Klosterhalfen
Konstanze Klosterhalfen by Frank Haug.jpg
Klosterhalfen in 2014
Personal information
Born (1997-02-18) 18 February 1997 (age 22)
Bonn, Germany
Height174 cm (5 ft 9 in)
Weight48 kg (106 lb)
Country Germany
ClubNike Oregon Project (since 2019)
TSV Bayer 04 Leverkusen (since 2008)
SSG Königswinter (2002–2007)
Coached byPete Julian
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)
  • Olympic events
800m: 1:59.65
1500m: 3:58.92
5000m: 14:26.76 NR
Indoor 800m: 2:03.37i
Indoor 1500m: 4:02.70+i NR
Indoor 5000m: 15:15.80i

In 2017, Klosterhalfen became the youngest female runner to cover the 800m in less than 2 minutes, the 1500m in less than 4 minutes, and the 5000m in less than 15 minutes. She is the current German national record holder for 1500 metres (indoor), one mile (in- and outdoor), 3000 metres (in- and outdoor) and 5000 metres.

Personal lifeEdit

Konstanze Klosterhalfen was born to Bernd and Brigitta Klosterhalfen. She grew up in Königswinter-Bockeroth, her father is a lawyer and her mother a teacher.[2] Her brothers are Nikolas (b. 1995) and Leonard (b. 1998).[3] The older brother was also a talented runner but decided for association football.[4] In 2009, “Niko” ran the 1000 metres in 2:50.37 minutes.[5] The year before, he set the second fastest time (2:54.67) in the German U14 division.[6] “Leo” plays handball at a high amateur level.

Klosterhalfen is enrolled at Deutsche Sporthochschule Köln (DSHS) in a Journalism and Sport science degree.[7]

Since fall 2018, Klosterhalfen lives and trains in Portland, OR (USA) as a member of the Nike Oregon Project, the contact was made via sports manager Oliver Mintzlaff.[8] She is not trained by Alberto Salazar, instead she is under the supervision of Pete Julian.[9][10] She describes her living in Oregon as it's like training camp every day. According to her, the training is more intense, with more structure.[11]

In her youth, Klosterhalfen was an altar server, and walked the runway twice at the Berlin Fashion Week.[12] In her leisure time, she likes to play the piano and the western concert flute, in addition to ballet.[10][13]

Klosterhalfen's first trainer at TSV Bayer 04 Leverkusen was Tina Lewis.[14] After Lewis, she was trained by Sigrid Bühler and DLV women's coach Sebastian Weiß (in German), he gave her the nickname “Koko”.[13][15][10]



Klosterhalfen went to the 2014 Summer Youth Olympics staged in Nanjing (China), from 16–28 August. She ran the 1500m in a field of 20 competitors. In the final, she placed 4th out of 10 with a time of 4:21.02. The winner became Kokebe Tesfaye (Ethiopia) with 4:15.38.[16]


Klosterhalfen went to the European U20 Championships in Eskilstuna (Sweden), from 16–19 July. In the 1500m race, she received a bronze medal with 4:20.84, Bobby Clay (UK) won in 4:17.91, and Amy Griffiths (UK) placed second with 4:20.41.[17]

On 13 December, Klosterhalfen won the European Cross Country Championships in the U20 women's division in Hyères (France). On a 4.157km course, she finished first (13:12 minutes) out of 81 starters, Harriet Knowles-Jones (UK) took the silver medal with a 4 seconds gap. Furthermore, she won the team ranking with Germany.[18]


On 6 February, she placed second in the 1500m race at the World Indoor Tour meet Indoor Meeting Karlsruhe in Karlsruhe (Germany). Klosterhalfen's time was 4:08.38, the winner Axumawit Embaye (Ethiopia) surpassed her by a margin of 0.16 seconds.[19]

Klosterhalfen set a national U20 record at a 10k run in Leverkusen (Germany) on 6 March. Her winning time of 32:24 minutes broke the record formerly held by Anke Schäning (East Germany), who ran 33:03 minutes in 1990. Moreover, her time was faster than the national track 10,000m U20 record of 32:44.52 by Schäning.[20]

On 20 July, Klosterhalfen won a bronze medal at the World Junior Championships in Bydgoszcz (Poland). Beyenu Degefa (Ethiopia) won the 3000m event with a new championship record of 8:41.76, Dalila Abdulkadir (Bahrain) placed second in 8:46.42. Her own time was 8:46.74, a national U20 record.[21]

Olympic Games

At the 2016 Summer Olympics, Klosterhalfen competed against a field of 41 starters in the 1500m. In her heat, she placed 6th out of 14. Each two semi-finals had 12 runners, she placed 10th in her semi-final. Faith Chepngetich Kipyegon (Kenya) became the 1500m Olympic champion in a time of 4:08.92, Genzebe Dibaba (Ethiopia) achieved a silver medal with 4:10.27, and Jenny Simpson (USA) ranked third for a bronze medal in 4:10.53.[22]

For her second time, Klosterhalfen won (12:26 minutes) the U20 women's field at the European Cross Country Championships on 11 December. On a 4.06km course, silver medalist Anna Emilie Møller (Denmark) lost 17 seconds to her. Germany placed second in the team ranking.[23]

Klosterhalfen competed at the Bitburger-Silvesterlauf in Trier (Germany) on 31 December. Her time of 16:05 minutes placed her first in the 5k Sparkassen-Elite-Lauf der Frauen.[24] The men's 8k at the same venue were formerly won by Micah Kogo (Kenya) and Haile Gebrselassie (Ethiopia).[25]


On 4 February, Klosterhalfen run the 3000m race at the World Indoor Tour meet Indoor Meeting Karlsruhe in Karlsruhe. She finished 6th out of 9 starters with a time of 8:51.75, a new personal best. The event was won by Laura Muir (UK) with 8:26.41, a new European indoor record and the 5th best on the all time indoor list. Hellen Obiri (Kenya) became the runner up in a time of 8:29.46.[26][27]

Klosterhalfen's first major senior medal came at the 2017 European Athletics Indoor Championships on 4 March, when she came second to Laura Muir to claim silver in the 1500m.[28]

On 8 June, Klosterhalfen ran the 1500m at the Diamond League meet Golden Gala – Pietro Mennea in Rome (Italy). With her time of 3:59.30, she became the first German woman to cover this distance in less than 4 minutes since 1990.[29]

At the 117th edition of the German Athletics Championships in Erfurt on 9 July, Klosterhalfen's 1500m winning time of 3:59.58 became a new championship record. Diana Sujew took the silver in 4:10.71.[30]

Klosterhalfen went to the European U23 Championships in Bydgoszcz, from 13–16 July. She won the 1500m final in 4:10.30, silver medalist Sofia Ennaoui and Martyna Galant (both Poland) completed the podium.[31]

Klosterhalfen competed at the Diamond League meet Müller Grand Prix Birmingham in Birmingham (UK) on 20 August. Sifan Hassan (Netherlands) won the 3000m event in 8:28.90, with her following in at 8:29.89, a new national record. With this run, she improved on her personal best by nearly 17 seconds and Irina Mikitenko's German national record by half a second.[32] Her time was the first German women's record in a non-hurdle track event since 2000.

World Championships in Athletics

Topmost picture: Klosterhalfen during the 2019 NYRR Millrose Games mile run. She won in a time of 4:19.98. This time beat the exisiting German national record. Second picture: Klosterhalfen during the 3000m at the 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships, trailing her is Laura Muir (UK), the eventual winner. Muir is followed by Melissa Courtney (UK) who came in third with 8:38.22.

Klosterhalfen went to the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London (UK), from 4–13 August. In the 1500m heats, she ranked 10th out of 44 starters with 4:03.60. In the semi-finals she ran a time of 4:06.58, the 16th best among 24 starters, and failed to move to the final.[33]

At the European Cross Country Championships in Šamorín (Slovakia) on 10 December, Klosterhalfen placed second (20:25 minutes) in the U23 women's division. On a 6.28km course, Alina Reh (Germany) finished 3 seconds ahead of her. Germany took the silver in the team ranking.[34]

Klosterhalfen returned to the Bitburger-Silvesterlauf in Trier on 31 December. She won the 5k Sparkassen-Elite-Lauf der Frauen for her second time. The run was won with a new personal best of 15:34 minutes.[35]


At the German Athletics Indoor Championships in Dortmund on 18 February, her 21st birthday, Klosterhalfen set a new national record in the 3000m with 8:36.01. It was an improvement by more than 5 seconds on the record formerly held by Kathrin Ullrich (East Germany) set in 1988.[36] She lowered her personal best for the 3000m by nearly 16 seconds.[37]

At the 2018 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Birmingham on 1 March, Klosterhalfen placed 7th in the 3000m final with a time of 8:51.79.[38]

European Championships in Athletics

The 2018 European Athletics Championships were held in Berlin (Germany), from 6–12 August. Klosterhalfen finished 4th in the 5000m final on 12 August. With her time of 15:03.73, she missed the podium by 6.10 seconds. The victory went to Sifan Hassan with 14:46.12.[39]


Klosterhalfen won the 5000m race at the World Indoor Tour meet New Balance Indoor Grand Pix in Boston, MA (USA) on 27 January. She crossed the finish line after 15:15.80, the third fastest time for a German woman. Jenny Simpson finished second in 15:33.38.[40]

On 9 February, Klosterhalfen won the mile run at the NYRR Millrose Games in New York City, NY (USA) with a time of 4:19.98. In addition, she broke the German national record set 31 years before, and the 1500m national indoor record with her intermediate split (4:02.70+). Steeplechase runner Colleen Quigley (USA) came in in second placed with 4:22.86.[41]

At the German Athletics Indoor Championships in Leipzig on 16 February, Klosterhalfen beat her German national record in the 3000m with 8:32.47, an improvement by more than 3 seconds on her record in 2018.[42]

Klosterhalfen ran at the 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships in Glasgow (UK) on 1 March. She finished as the runner up in the 3000m event. The winner was Laura Muir with 8:30.61, her own time of 8:34.06 placed her second.[43]

At the Diamond League meet Prefontaine Classic in Stanford, CA (USA) on 30 June, Klosterhalfen finished second in the 3000m with a new national record of 8:20.07, a nearly 10-second improvement on her own German national record set about two years prior. Her time ranks her the sixth fastest woman over the 3000m distance in sports history. The run was won in a time of 8:18.49, a new European record by Sifan Hassan.[11][44]

At the German Athletics Championships in Berlin on 3 August, Klosterhalfen set a new national record in the 5000m with a time of 14:26.76, a massive improvement on her former personal best of 14:51.38. Her time ranks her the thirteenth fastest woman over the 5000m distance in sports history. The former German national record of 14:42.03 was set by Irina Mikitenko in 1999.[45]

On 18 August, Klosterhalfen beat the existing German national record for the mile run, in windy conditions.[46][47] At the Diamond League meet Müller Grand Prix Birmingham in Birmingham, she placed first in the 1 Mile Women – Millicent Fawcet run with 4:21.11, 0.48 seconds faster than the former record, held by Ulrike Bruns (East Germany), from 1985. With this time, she improved on her personal best by just over 3 seconds, and claimed her first victory in the IAAF Diamond League. She defeated second-place finisher Gabriela Debues-Stafford (Canada) with an advantage of 1.36 seconds.[48][49]

In the 1500m Diamond League Final Weltklasse Zürich in Zurich (Switzerland) on 29 August, Klosterhalfen finished second with 3:59.02. The discipline final winner became Sifan Hassan in 3:57.08, Klosterhalfen beat the fourth-placed world record holder Genzebe Dibaba by 1.84 seconds.[50][51]

Eight days later, Klosterhalfen competed at the 5000m Diamond League Final AG Memorial Van Damme in Brussels (Belgium) on 6 September. Third-placed, Klosterhalfen's time of 14:29.89 beat 2017 world champion Hellen Obiri by 4.01 seconds. The final was won by Sifan Hassan with 14:26.26.[52]

World Championships in Athletics

On 5 October, Klosterhalfen won the 5000m bronze medal at the 2019 IAAF World Championships with a time of 14:28.43. The 2017 defending champion Hellen Obiri won in a time of 14:26.72, her Kenyan compatriot Margaret Chelimo Kipkemboi became the runner up with 14:27.49. It was the first 5000m World Championship medal for a German woman.[53][54]

Personal bestsEdit


Event Time Venue Date
800 metres 1:59.65 Pfungstadt 3 June 2017
1500 metres 3:58.92 Berlin 27 August 2017
One mile 4:21.11 NR Birmingham 18 August 2019
3000 metres 8:20.07 NR Stanford 30 June 2019
5000 metres 14:26.76 NR Berlin 3 August 2019
5 kilometres 15:34 Trier 31 December 2017
10 kilometres 32:24 Leverkusen 6 March 2016


Event Time Venue Date
800 metres 2:03.37 Dortmund 21 February 2016
1500 metres 4:02.70+ NR New York City 9 February 2019
One mile 4:19.98 NR New York City 9 February 2019
3000 metres 8:32.47 NR Leipzig 16 February 2019
5000 metres 15:15.80 Boston 26 January 2019

+ intermediate split in longer race

Public criticismEdit

On 1 October 2019, the USADA banned the head coach of Klosterhalfen's training group Alberto Salazar, and Dr. Jeffery Brown, a colleague at the Oregon Project, for doping offences. These included using a WADA prohibited method, tampering with doping control methods and trafficking testosterone through a prohibited testing program.[55] The case against Salazar and Brown concerns a timeframe before Klosterhalfen was part of the Nike Oregon Project.[56] She is trained by Salazar's former assistant Pete Julian, who maintained on German television, "We know, we do everything right".[57]

Regarding the closure of Nike's Oregon Project, Klosterhalfen stated:

"It's a first and important decision, specially to protect the current athletes and what they have achieved. Since last week, their and my competition activities were pushed into the background because of this ongoing issue." (Translation from her statement (in German)).[58]


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External linksEdit