What's it like to be the meeting director for a Chinese competition?
- It is interesting and at the same time a great challenge because it is the first time there has been a Diamond Leauge competition in this city. A new city with a new organization is challenging. Shenzhen is a large modern city with about 17 million inhabitants. One of the most modern tech cities in China. It is subtropical with generally good ratio for athletics.
What made them hire you?
- It was decided back in 2019 when Wanda came in as a title sponsor and wanted to be involved in arranging a competition. They wanted to secure the right expertise to be able to carry out the competition and then they contacted me.
Rune Stenersen was the CEO of the Bislett Alliance for a few years where he was involved in conducting the prestigious Bislett Games competition, also one of the Diamond League competitions.
What is different to run a race in China against Norway?
- It's a much larger organization and more hierarchy with several leaders in several stages. We have a flatter structure in Scandinavia. It's a very big difference with many more people on multiple levels. I am used to being involved with all processes at all levels.
How is the language doing?
- It's challenging. But Wanda has a habit of conducting international competitions so English often works but we also hire an interpreter if needed. Then I can tell you that Norwegian and Chinese humour are more similar to each other than Norwegian and Swedish.
Have you signed up any Norwegians or Swedes to your competition?
– No, we have just set dates and branches, but pretty soon we will start procuring participants. The goal is to have a wide international range of participation. Since we are behind the World Cup, it should be a little easier to get active here as they have already had the most important competition of the season.
Are you coming to the BAUHAUS gala on July 2?
–Yes. It is always nice to come to Stockholm and experience the atmosphere and hospitality there.