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Posted: April 29, 2023:  

Athletics: Christoph Kopp passed away in Berlin

Christoph Kopp, the most influential, experienced and accepted road running official and manager in German speaking territory, passed away at the age of 75 on Friday in his hometown Berlin after a short severe illness. Christoph Kopp was one of the nicest and most reliable people you could meet in life, always ready to help.

Photo showing Christoph Kopp (by Norbert Wilhelmi) and him talking with Paul Tergat and Horst Milde during the 25k of Berlin race in 2009 (by Victah Sailer)

A former sprinter and decathlete, he worked as a coach and later became head of athletics at the renowned club SCC Berlin. When city marathon developed in the early eighties in Europe Christoph Kopp became the voluntary Sporting Director of the Berlin-Marathon and the general manager. He developed the event to a high-class international race and established connections of which the Berlin Marathon still benefits today.

Additionally Christoph Kopp was the President of the Berlin Athletics Federation between 1999 and 2004 and was much involved in Berlin’s bids for the World Championships, which the city then staged in 2009.

As an elite field coordinator he was the one who developed the Berlin Marathon into one of the world’s leading races. And he did the same with the Frankfurt Marathon and the Berlin 25 k race. It was in Frankfurt in 2011 where Wilson Kipsang missed the world record by just four seconds. In partnership with the former ISTAF Meeting Director Gerhard Janetzky, Christoph Kopp organised the Berlin 25k race for a number of years. In 2010 he put together a 25k field that produced something unique: It was the first time ever that both world records were broken in one road race at the same time. Recently he also worked for marathons in Hannover, Linz and Munich as well as road races in Paderborn, Berlin, Würzburg and Dresden.

In 2020 it was Christoph Kopp and his International SportService (ISS) Team who organised the first elite races during the Corona Pandemic in Germany and one of the first worldwide. He was then involved in most other German races during the lockdown. Christoph Kopp always had the courage to try something that seemed not possible.

Christoph Kopp additionally managed a large number of German top marathon and road runners but also international athletes with his team at Berlin’s ISS. His International SportService will now be continued by his son Philipp Kopp and his long-term employee Sandra Wolter.

Jörg Wenig (Race News Service)

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