After putting his mark on the Dunk planet to the point of becoming its international ambassador, Kadour Ziani passed the torch to a new generation of dunkers this past weekend in Bucharest, Romania. Among a ridiculous crop of talent, it was the Russian Alexandre Shalygin a.k.a. “Shal” who literally flew over the competition to run away with the title.
Under the leadership of the “Zianimal” himself, a fleet of dunkers coming from every corner of Europe led vicious attacks on the rims. Composing the new generation of Europeans was 12 dunkers who entered the contest from Germany, England, France, Holland, Italy, Poland, Romania, Russia, Switzerland and Turkey. But while everyone knew about Shalygin, one of the biggest surprises from the weekend has to be Loïc Tourais.
This young kid from Upper Savoy studying for a bachelor degree in Mathematics at Chambery University was the darkhorse who rose to the contest’s finals.
“It was fantastic, it was incredible to be able to dunk with all these guys, even if I doubted my level a little bit,” says Tourais. “It is like a family, they are all really cool and despite the competition, they cheer you up and bring you support. It’s really cool, I want to live such moments again.”
Despite the determination of the young Frenchman, he had to admit defeat to the Russian “Shal” who flew away towards the title thanks to his creativity and an unsuspected power. Animated to win, he came up with a bunch of new dunks and closed the contest while passing over an Opel (Vauxhall) convertible.
Emil “Slash” Olszewski from Poland became the first European player to ever complete a 720° during the jam session. He killed the crowd during the warm up but failed during the contest whereas he seemed to be the best. On the other side, Tayo “Chosen” Odulaja from England impressed with his power and the aesthetics of his dunks. The semi-final was thus played between Mike Djimbo (Belgium), Loïc Tourais (France), Shal (Russia) and Charly Dankwa (Germany) who dunked above Kadour who sat on a motor bike.
Who would you say is the best dunker in the world?
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