Report28 Feb 2020

Klosterhalfen clocks 14:30.79 European indoor record in Boston, Schweizer scorches 8:25.70


German distance runner Konstanze Klosterhalfen (© Getty Images)

Konstanze Klosterhalfen of Germany and Karissa Schweizer of the US shattered Area records in the 5000m and 3000m, respectively, at the Boston University Last Chance Invitational on Thursday (27).

Klosterhalfen, the bronze medallist over the distance at last year's World Championships, clocked 14:30.79, the fifth fastest indoor 5000m performance of all-time while Schweizer, a finalist in Doha last year, clocked 8:25.70, the eighth fastest indoor 3000m ever run.

Taking the lead for good less than 800 metres into the race, Klosterhalfen, 23, clicked off a series of 35- to 36-second laps around the 200m oval over the first 3000m, then upped her pace in the latter stages to smash nearly 17 seconds from the previous European record of 14:47.35 held by Gabriela Szabo since 1999. Klosterhalfen closed her performance with a sub-31.6 final 200 metres.

Klosterhalfen now trails only Genzebe Dibaba (14:18.86), Meseret Defar (14:24.37) and Tirunesh Dibaba (14:27.42) on the all-time indoor list.

Vanessa Fraser of the US was a distant second in 14:48.51 with Emily Infeld third in 14:51.91, indoor lifetime bests for both.

Running later in the evening, Schweizer took command of the race from pacesetter Kate Grace by the 800-metre point, shadowed closely by Shelby Houlihan and Colleen Quigley, who was just another step behind in the three-woman race. Schweizer held her ground through to the finish line, clipping nearly 15 seconds from her previous indoor best to move all the way up to fifth position on the all-time indoor list. Houlihan clocked 8:26.66 and Quigley 8:28.71 to become the seventh and tenth fastest all-time.

All three finished well inside the previous North American record of 8:33.25 set by Shalane Flanagan in 2007.

On the men's side, Josh Thompson prevailed in the 1500m in 3:34.77, the fastest in the world this season. Shadowing pacer Harun Abda Thompson took command after 1200 metres, holding off Brannon Kidder and Abraham Alvarado, who clocked 3:36.51 and 3:36.82, respectively.

The men's 3000m was nearly as close, with Lopez Lomong taking the won in 7:37.74 over Ryan Hill (7:38.03) and Evan Jager (7:38.25). About a half hour earlier, Lomong served as a pacesetter in the 1500m.

On the second day of action, more fast times came in the men's 5000m.

Shadrack Kipchirchir held off Briton Marc Scott in the 5000m, 13:08.25 to 13:08.87. Scott's performance was a European record, eclipsing Mo Farah's 13:09.16 set in Birmingham in 2017.

In a quality race, Edward Cheserek was third in 13:09.05, with two-time NCAA champion Eric Jenkins fourth in 13:10.07.

Maite Bouchard edged Canadian compatriot Melissa Bishop in the 800m by a scant 0.05 in 2:00.93.

Justyn Knight and Heather McClain took 1500m victories in 3:36.13 and 4:05.29, respectively.

Bob Ramsak for World Athletics