Norrbro is the name of the bridge that connects Stockholm's Old Town with the Swedish Royal Palace. The location proved to be superb as the bridge set the stage for an athletics event that more than one thousand children will remember for a long long time. The children were timed in running, tested hurdling, high-jump, shot put and even javelin where the goal was to hit a diamond a distance away. This is the first time Lilla DN Galan for children aged 3-15 was staged in Norrbro. – Everything worked extremely smoothly, better than our location last year in Kungsträdgården actually. We were able to increase the number of children who could participate and we were processing 150 race numbers an hour so that everyone who wanted to, could try out athletics," says Benny Söderlund, project leader for the event.Lilla DN Galan is a memory for lifePole-vaulters Angelica Bengtsson and Fabiana Murer from Brazil showed children the various athletics events while signing thousands of autographs.
"It's great that so many children want to try out athletics. I remember meeting the high-jumper Staffan Strand at a competition when I was about 10 years old. It was so cool since he had competed at the Olympics, " says Bengtsson.Staffan Strand also happened to be present at Lilla DN Galan this year but this time with his wife and two children, the oldest of which proved to be particularly swift on the athletics track. Long queues for Sanya's autograph The winner of the 'longest autograph' queue was Sanya Richards-Ross. The 400m runner has been to Lilla DN Galan before and on Friday she will be attempting a new stadium record in the 400m. The European 400m champion, Sweden's Moa Hjelmer, was also there leading and helping the children. Hjelmer is in fact a trainer for youths in her local Stockholm club, Spårvägen. Other stars present were Christian Taylor, the recently crowned Olympic triple-jump champion, Will Claye, silver medallist from the same event, Emma Green Tregaro, European bronze medallist in high-jump and Dawn Harper, an Olympic gold and silver medallist in 100m hurdles. The sun shone on Olympic medallist Kellie Wells All the Olympic medalists from the London Games brought their medals with them for children to try out, see and feel. One of them was American Kellie Wells who won bronze in London in a personal best time of 12.48."I tried all athletics events when I was a child, from hurdles to high-jump to 800m and even pentathlon," Wells told the audience at Lilla DN Galan. "Hurdles was the one that came easiest so I focused on that." Wells who will be competing at DN-Galan on Friday for the second time. "I really like that the audience is so close and you know that there's an athletics meet going on. It's inspiring and brings out better results." Jonas HedmanMore news at www.dngalan.comMore pictures at https://www.facebook.com/DNGalan2012/photos