XI FIP World Polo Championship
The XI. FIP WORLD POLO CHAMPIONSHIP SYDNEY 2017 has come to an end. This event will be recorded as one of the best World Championships in the history of the tournament. Sydney Polo Club, the organizers, delivered a world-class event on which no detail was left to be improvised, everything was organized to perfection. After Argentina emerged victorious from a nail-biting final match with Chile, the day closed with a show and the reassurance that Australia and most precisely Sydney, are destinations where you can find the best polo in the world, combined with excellent hosts.
The day started with a match for the third spot, between England and USA. The temperature in Sydney was quite high at that time. It was a game without many goals, which had several pauses. The USA was on the winning streak until the last chukka, where England got the game to a tie. During the supplementary chukka, England scored the golden goal and won the third spot 6-5.
England: Ed Banner-Eve, Satnam Dhillon, Henry Porter, Peter Webb
USA: Matias Gonzalez, Jesse Bray, Felipe Viana, James Wright
“The quality of the horses here in Australia was fantastic; I am amazed at the quality. You never saw horses turning or leaping; it’s brilliant. We are thinking of taking a couple (of the horses) back to England for the high goal.
Obviously, about winning, we just had to keep going: keep pushing, keep fighting, and we did it. This last match was very hard.
It’s a tough game; emotions are always high. It gets a bit passionate between us on the pitch, but it is what it is. We got a good lesson in Australia in polo; we were surprised by the fast pitches. We did mess up against New Zealand, but we won a lot of games. We should have been in the finals if we didn’t mess up the game against New Zealand. We played against Chile, and we beat them quite convincingly It is great to be third, but that wasn't the objective.” - Satnam Dhillon, England Polo Team
Argentina vs. Chile (Photo courtesy of USPAGL by Marcos Cerdeira for PoloLine)
The final contenders for the last World Cup in Chile, met again at 3 pm this time in Sydney, to fight for the title. As every final match, it looked like both teams had studied their opponents and previous games carefully, to ensure the best tactics. This game was also entirely paused, not abundant in runs. The goals at the beginning were mostly penalties, but at the end, the game got mind-wrecking: during the sixth chukka, where both teams were tied at 5-5, Chile suddenly scored a goal one minute before the bell tolled. But Argentina was determined to keep on fighting: Lucio Fernandez Ocampo, with a historical run, scored a new goal for his team and took the game again to a tie. The final chukka was quite dramatic: both teams were struggling, and it took a long time to define the match. Chile had more opportunities than Argentina, but the MVP Lucio Fernandez Ocampo again was decided to get his team the victory and scored the golden goal. The final score was 8-7. Argentina, undefeated, cheered as they celebrated their fifth World Championship title, proving once more, the golden standards that are a trademark of Argentinian Polo.
Argentina: Lucio Fernandez Ocampo (MVP), Héctor Guerrero, Valentín Novillo Astrada, Tomás Panelo
Chile: José Martínez, José Zegers, Andrés Vial, José Pereira
Alex Taylor (CEO FIP) hands over the FIP recognition to Peter Higgins (CEO WPC Sydney) (Photo courtesy of USPAGL by Marcos Cerdeira for PoloLine)