The Stockholm Bauhaus Meeting has a long, rich history in our sport. For nearly three decades, the same meet director, Rajne Soderberg, managed the meet with the judiciousness of King Solomon. In a bloody coup, Mr. Soderberg was relieved of his duties some years ago. The meeting, quite frankly, has never been the same. This year was probably the best year since Rajne left.
Truth is this: being a meet director is a no win job. One must possess the showmanship,creativity,salesmanship and the belief that you are on a sacred mission. Fred Lebow comes to mind at the NYC Marathon.
The problem is, our sport tends to eat its young, its talented and its obsessed.
In looking back at the meet this week, here is what I came up with to reconsider:
1. Karston Warholm has changed his game
Warholm’s 47.85 opener showed the changes that Warholm made since 2018. His popularity was obvious with the crowd, and his fantastic opener showed that he would be part of the 2019 Doha story.
2. The 10,000m is far from dead…
One can not even fathom the lack of consideration on the 5,000m, much less the 10,000m, by the Diamond League. Hopefully, Jon Ridgeon, in his new role with the IAAF, will see that the 13 minute and 27 minutes of the two aforementioned events are perfect for repackaging for a new sponsor. The 10,000m at Stockholm was a fantastic event, and, if Dentsu is unable to find sponsors, then, perhaps there are other groups who could assist.
3. Women’s 5000m kept fans’ interest…
The most popular distance in racing globally is the 5,000m, and that is event Diamond League considers eliminating from their schedule. The final 200m with Agnes Tirop, Fantu Worku, Lilian Reguruk and Gabriella Stafford-DeBues was amazing! Distance races are presented, for the most part, at least in the US, for someone with the intellectual curiousity of a small soap dish (I swiped that from somewhere, I think a National Lampoon album circa 1970). Come on, do it better!
4. The women’s 100m hurdles will be the toughest event to make in Doha’s final
Keni Harrison is the WR holder at 100m hurdles. She has battled her challenges in making US teams, and she seems to be focused, and confident in her timing and racing. No one is guaranteed on the US team, and there will be major surprises in this event.
5. The story is always local, with global overtones
In my observations of Ian Stewart , and then, Spencer Barden in the UK athletics meetings, they always kept local stars, and soon to be stars with global stars. It built fans, and gave the young athletes a chance to develop. It is the big story behind success of British athletics. Such is the story of Stockholm’s rise from the ashes. Daniel Stahl, Andreas Kramer, Erika Kinsey, Thobias Montler all did their jobs.