A phenomenal atmosphere has already taken hold of Osijek, and it is only the first day. That is the conclusion of the beginning of the sports part of the 22nd Pannonian Challenge, which once again lived up to all expectations and with spectacular competitions showed why it’s a favorite festival of many extreme athletes, but also an audience that could hardly wait to return to the skate park. Inline amateurs, Scooter discipline, and the grand finale of professional Inline skaters – in that order the first sports day culminated, which was marked by unprecedented moves.
A precedent in the duel for the best trick
Diako Diaby is primarily responsible for that, the showman from France, who took over the first place in Inline Pro discipline with two almost perfect rides winning a prize of 1000 euros and the respect of the whole audience. But he was well threatened by Joe Atkinson from England, winner of the 20th Pannonian Challenge, who had to settle for second place ahead of third-placed Jaro Frijn, but he didn’t want to go without a fight in the competition for the best trick. The audience enjoyed the breathtaking tricks in that final after the final, while Osijek skate park turned into an actual arena where the two best didn’t want to give up. That’s why a precedent was set the tricks went on and then Atkinson performed a demanding 540 ao acid, which Diaby followed up with an almost impossible backflip transfer, so the judges had no choice but to share the prize for the best trick. The audience welcomed it with enthusiasm, and the duel ended with a friendly hug.
– This skate park is massive, you reach speed in it every time you are in the air and that’s what I especially like. That’s why this is my second favorite skate park ever. Although I failed to do my favorite tricks, like a double – misty flip to backflip, I managed to make a flat 900 and I am happy to have won. I respect all the guys because they compete with a smile and enjoy themselves while driving, so I also felt great with a cheerful audience. Everything is good, life is well – said the master of inline tricks, Diako Diaby, who was a little short of winning the Pannonian Challenge last year, while this time he did his best and “without problems” earned an extremely high 95 points.
Presenting the scooters in the best light
But even earlier competition in the Inline Amateur discipline was no less tense because order on a pedestal was decided by only two points. Thus, the victory was taken by the experienced Robin Konečny from the Czech Republic and next to second-placed Ondrej Hodik, Stjepan Macanga, a 15-year-old from Zagreb, who stood proudly in third place who thus proved to be the great hope of the domestic inline. On the other hand, the duel between the Czech Republic and Croatia continued in the Scooter discipline, in by far the youngest discipline, which was excellently presented at the Pannonian Challenge, showing all the potential for the future. Then the Czechs again took the lead, led by Filip Blaha, who won gold, and Michal Horaček, who also did the best trick, while the bronze went to a young Croat – last year’s winner Emanuel Bastaja.
My friend Michal Horaček and I have been competing for the last ten years, and since this is the biggest skate park I have ever ridden in, the feeling of victory is like a holiday. The best trick for me today was the front flip tail whip, and although I didn’t get it perfect, I always have the next year to make up for it. Due to the great people and the fantastic atmosphere, I will return next year 100%, with the hope that the scooter will become as popular in Croatia as in the Czech Republic – concluded Scooter winner Filip Blaha.
Continuity of the urban culture program
The tense first day of the 22nd Pannonian Challenge was complemented by a party at the Stara Pekara, where Inline and Scooter drivers chilled with a large audience, all under the lead of DJ eM Bee, but also drum&bass experts – Filip Motovun and Kula VuBass. But there is not much time to relax, because the best festival of extreme sports today returns to the roots of urban culture with the help of skaters, graffiti, and breakdance. Namely, the competition in the Skate Pro discipline brings a new clash of old acquaintances – Chris Khan from Slovenia (winner of the 20th Pannonian Challenge), Peter Spiedlick (last year’s winner), and Bruno Vranić (ultimate winner of this year’s Challenge Tour). However, on the eve of their grand finale, all visitors can expect competition in B-Boying (breakdance) of the best dancers from the Balkans, and all will be rounded off with a competition in drawing graffiti, in which five famous street artists will measure their strengths. To ensure the end of that significant day will pass in a good rhythm, once more it will be taken care of by great DJs in the courtyard of the Old Bakery – Volster, Kolek3k, and Phrasal, and then Lag.
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 Skate discipline can be followed by clicking HERE.