Friday the 13th was not unfortunate at all for fans of extreme sports and visitors to the 22nd Pannonian Challenge, who were able to enjoy all the benefits of urban culture in Osijek’s skatepark. Graffiti, breakdance and skate merged into one and gave the whole audience an idyllic atmosphere, which became glowing before sunset. The reason for that is the never stronger competition in the Skate Elite / PRO discipline, which was attended by as many as 25 drivers, and whose uncertain final quickly crystallized after the second run. Namely, after 2019, Slovenian Christopher Khan again won first place at the Pannonian Challenge, where he swept the competition by winning as many as 10 points more than second-placed German Jan Hoffmann, who performed at the Osijek festival for the first time yesterday. The third place was taken by a favorite of the audience, the flawless winner of this year’s Challenge Tour, which, despite several failed attempts at daring tricks, deserved a good placement. He is the curly and always smiling Bruno Vranić from Slavonski Brod, who gave the loudest applause to Petar Spiedlick, last year’s winner, who after two unsuccessful runs still managed to do a hard flip and thus win the best trick award.
Support in the eastern part of the skate park
– I am especially proud of the second run, although even then I was not sure of winning. It means a lot to me that I am surrounded by friends and that we do not consider ourselves opponents, but we are always supportive of each other, so I believe that this support brings me happiness. In all this, I love to ride in Osijek’s skatepark and I’m always happy to come back to it, especially the part with the fence by the stairs, where I always try various tricks, including frontside bluntside, which I managed to perform today – said after the victory “King” Khan, who was very close to participating in the Olympic Games in Tokyo this year, where the Skate discipline was premiered, so he hopes to succeed in this plan at the next Games.
While Slovenians and Hungarians, along with many local drivers, regularly visit the Pannonian Challenge, this time they were joined by Germans, who discovered all the charms of the eastern part of the park, intended for skaters who used it constantly for grinding, sliding, flipping and combining various tricks. Skate amateurs also had such a practice, among which one girl won in the hottest sun – fearless Osijek resident Iva Ringsmuth, who returns to the Pannonian Challenge from year to year, and this time celebrated in front of Niko Lovric from Germany and young Jagor Jurič.
Dance, graffiti and a party to welcome BMX day
Just as Skate amateurs were grinding, behind the skate park on the left bank of the Drava, urban culture took root at the exhibition B-Boying show, led by Miroslav Kasumović, which featured music by Mc No-iD and DJ Marushka on which the hopes of the Wings Dance Studio also performed. Everything was completed by a unique graffiti drawing competition, in which participated Rebus, Skel, Sok, Mario 234 and Oksid – also the only girl who, like Iva Ringsmuth, won with her colorful interpretation of extreme sports motifs.
After such excitement, “King” Chris Khan and the rest of the skate team went to celebrate the victory at the best party in town – in the courtyard of the Stara Pekara, where they were greeted by top DJs Volster, Kolek3k and Phrasal, while in safe hands of DJ Laga they greeted the morning. It was the party that all visitors needed for the end of the working week, but also for filling with adrenaline ahead of the long-awaited BMX Freestyle competition on Saturday. It could already be concluded from the stands that the weekend and BMX day are slowly approaching, because the audience was growing, and full occupancy is expected at today’s spectacle directed by the world’s best drivers. They will be led by Marin Ranteš – Osijek’s favorite in the hunt for the first gold at the Pannonian Challenge, and his plans will be thwarted by Jack Clark, last year’s convincing winner, as well as young Englishman Kieran Rilley and underage Slovenian Jaka Remec, while in the hunt for the podium they will be joined by veterans such as Alessandro Barber and Senad Grošić, one of the greatest ambassadors of the Osijek festival. The last day of the sports program of the 22nd Pannonian Challenge is also the last day for the party in Tvrđa, where electronic music fans will come with the recognizable sounds of renowned DJs – Jogarde, Sly and Pips.
All visitors to the Pannonian Challenge must have an EU digital COVID certificate, which will be checked at the very entrance to the festival. People vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine have the right to enter the event, while those who have not been vaccinated will need a negative PCR test (not older than 72 hours) or a negative rapid antigen test (not older than 48 hours). Finally, the 22nd Pannonian Challenge is also open to people who have recovered from COVID-19, if at least 11 days have passed since the first positive PCR test. Children under the age of 12 are exempt from the obligation to have a digital EU COVID certificate. The organizer has provided testing, and more details about the points where rapid antigen testing will be provided, as well as additional information about the event can be found at https://pannonian.hr/. Organizers asked the audience to arrive on time to avoid unnecessary crowds when entering the skate park on the left side of the river Drava.
Live stream of today’s astonishing acrobatics in the BMX Freestyle discipline can be followed at 6 p.m. by clicking HERE.