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Hahner sisters, next marathon generation

The Hahner sisters, Germany's next marathon generation?

The Hahner sisters, Germany’s next marathon generation?

Anna Hahner was the runner in the national focus after German marathon races in Duesseldorf and Hamburg on the weekend. Only 22 years old she ran a fine debut,placing sixth at the METRO GROUP Marathon Duesseldorf with 2:30:14. She missed the national qualifying time for the Olympics by a mere 14 seconds but there is still hope that the German selectors will be kind on this occasion and reward her with an Olympic slot.

“I really hope that the German federation will suggest to the National Olympic Committee to nominate Anna after her fine run. And hopefully we will then have three women competing in London,” said Jan Winschermann, the Race Director of the METRO GROUP Marathon Duesseldorf, in support of the athlete. The METRO GROUP Marathon Düsseldorf is an IAAF Bronze Label Road Race.

In contrast to the German men – once again there will be no runner in the Olympic race on 12th August – the women have had consistent success in marathon running for decades. Christa Vahlensieck, Charlotte Teske, Uta Pippig, Katrin Dörre-Heinig, Sonja Oberem, Luminita Zaituc or more recently Irina Mikitenko are some big names in international marathon running who have produced great results many times. With the two-time World Marathon Majors winner Irina Mikitenko turning 40 later this year and Susanne Hahn 34 their careers are in their final periods. Sabrina Mockenhaupt is 31, but so far she could not fully transform her potential to the marathon distance. This is why she opted to go for the 10,000 m at the Olympics.

With Sabrina Mockenhaupt out of Germany’s marathon team there is one vacant spot. It remains to be seen if officials decide to give it to Anna Hahner now. Her marathon debut came at the right time, it was just a pity that she had lost those 14 seconds somewhere on the way despite appearing quite fresh after finishing. “I am very happy with my debut. But I am not sure where I lost those seconds missing. Nonetheless I am still hoping to get on the team. To run the marathon in the London Olympics is a dream.”

But even if she should not make it to London the future looks promising – most probably not only for Anna Hahner but also for her twin sister Lisa. So far the two had generally always been on the same level. And Lisa is planning her marathon debut as well.

After playing table tennis (also in a double together) and doing Jujutsu with some success the twins came to running quite late. It was a big coincidence that they discovered the sport. They were 17 when they went to listen to a presentation by the musician and long-distance athlete Joey Kelly in Fulda, which is near their home village Rimmels. Kelly was also speaking about motivation and running. “That absolutely motivated us and we started running three times a week,” said Anna Hahner. They soon won road races. “Sometimes we crossed the line together.” After they ran a half marathon in Bad Hersfeld in 1:29 at the age of 17 they were approached by a coach and persuaded to join a club. It was after some time that they then met Wolfgang Heinig, who is now working as a coach for the regional federation of Hessen. Heinig, who had guided his wife Katrin Dörre-Heinig to major international victories, became the coach of Anna and Lisa Hahner at the beginning of this year.

Anna Hahner hopes to run much faster in the future. “But I am not setting myself any specific time goals,” the 22 year-old said. While she has a very experienced coach she also has a big idol: Mary Keitany. She already met her when she was training in Kenya.

UPDATE: 16 April 2014

Anna Hahner sensationally takes Vienna

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  1. […] was a major upset in the women’s race. With 300 metres to go Germany’s Anna Hahner passed a struggling Caroline Chepkwony. Hahner clocked 2:28:59 in her first marathon victory. The […]