UK lift Manipur Polo International trophy
Imphal, Nov. 29 (EMN): The United Kingdom (UK) defeated Manipur (India) 10-8 in the final of the 14th Manipur Polo International 2022 played at Mapal Kangjeibung on Tuesday.
Incidentally, UK is the third foreign team to lift the Manipur Polo International trophy after USA and Australia.
The day’s final match turned out to be a thriller with both the teams fighting neck to neck and giving their best shots. The match began on an encouraging note for Manipur team with P Ojit opening the account almost as soon as the match began (24th second).
T Atangba added two more goals to take Manipur to a 3-0 lead.
But towards the latter half of the first chukker, Phil Seller scored three successive goals in the 5.03rs, 5.31st and 6.08th minutes to level the score.
In the 7th minute, L Atangba scored his third goal from the middle of the field to give his team a 4-3 lead at the end of the chukker (each chukker lasts 7 minutes).
The second chukker was where the Manipur players lost their foothold on the game. The UK team dominated the chukker completely, pumping in as many as five goals with no goal reciprocation from the Manipur side.
Phil Seller scored thrice (1.28th, 2.43rd minute and 7th minutes) and Harry Tucker twice (0.15th and 6.55th minutes). At the end of the second chukker, the UK team led 8-4,
In the third and fourth chukkers, Manipur made some sort of a comeback but it was rather too late. The third chukker was evenly matched with both the teams scoring a goal apiece. Phil seller scored once again for UK in the 2.19th minute from a penalty stroke while L Atangba scored in the 3.03rd minute. At the end of this chukker, UK led 9 goals to 5.
Indian team (B) Manipur made a very strong comeback in the last chukker with P Ojit scoring twice in the .52nd and 6.22nd minutes while L Atangba scored at the beginning of the chukker (.18th minute). Phil Seller added yet another goal to his team’s tally in the 2.08th minute. At the end of the day, UK team won the match 10-8 to lift the trophy.
Manipur gave polo to the world – Gov. Ganesan
Manipur Governor La Ganesan said it is a matter of great pride that Manipur has given Polo to the world.
The Governor was addressing the closing function of 14th Manipur Polo International-2022 organised as part of the 11th edition of Manipur Sangai Festival (MSF) 2022 at Mapal Kangjeibung, the oldest living pologround in the world located in Imphal.
Ganesan said the present-day polo originated from the traditional Manipuri polo – Sagol Kangjei. The Manipur Polo International, a tournament approved by the Indian Polo Association, is the only one of its kind played on ponies.
He said tournament is unique not only because it is played on Manipuri ponies but also at the historic oldest polo ground in the world.
Besides encouraging tourism and sports, the Governor said “saving the polo pony” is also an objective of the tournament and added that the presence of foreign teams and players will give fresh impetus to the popularity of the game.
Later, Ganesan handed over the winning trophy and cash prize of INR 2 lakh to the winning UK team, while Tribal Affairs minister, Letpao Haokip, handed over the runner-up trophy and cash prize of INR 1.5 lakh to India (B) Manipur team. The best pony award of Rs 20,000 was given to the pony called ‘ninty plus.’