Fortune Heights Snow Polo World Cup 2013 Eight Teams Move Forward to Quarter Finals at End of Day 4
12 teams from around the world vie for the world championship at Tianjin Goldin Metropolitan Polo Club from Jan 25 â€“ Feb 3
The Fortune Heights Snow Polo World Cup 2013 (â€œSnow Polo World Cupâ€) continued into the fourth day at Tianjin Goldin Metropolitan Polo Club (â€œMetropolitan Polo Clubâ€). Snow Polo World Cup is one of the major events on the world polo calendar, and is the largest snow polo tournament in the world. This is the second year running that Metropolitan Polo Club, the largest polo facility in China, has been chosen as the venue of this prestigious event. The tournament is hosted by the Equestrian Association of China and the Federation of International Polo (FIP), and is organized by the Tianjin Sports Bureau, the Hong Kong Polo Development and Promotion Federation (HKPDPF) and the Tianjin Polo Association, with support from various sponsors.
Twelve teams have been participating in this yearâ€™s tournament with handicaps ranging from 14 to 16 goals, making this the worldâ€™s premier snow polo event. The teams, selected in cooperation with the Federation of International Polo, represent 9 out of the top 10 polo countries. Countries represented are: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, England, France, Hong Kong China, India, New Zealand, South Africa and the USA.
In the qualifying matches, which have taken place during the first 4 days of the tournament, the teams have been divided into groups of 3 teams. Each team played the other 2 teams in their respective group, with the top 2 teams in each group moving forward to the Quarter Finals. Yesterday saw the USA knocked out after 2 consecutive defeats against the mallets of England and New Zealand. Three other teams secured their places in the Quarter Final: Argentina, New Zealand and South Africa. The qualifying round continued today, in three â€œmove forward or go homeâ€ matches.
The day began with 2 Latin American teams, Brazil and Chile, facing off on a chilling winter day, in stark contrast to the warm summer weather they left behind 2 weeks ago in their home countries.
The crowds were treated to an adrenalin-pumping roller-coaster of a match. The first chukka at times resembled a horse race, the ball being repeatedly driven up and down field on powerful forward swings, with the players frantically riding in pursuit. The Chilean team at first appeared to have the edge over Brazil, allowing them to establish a 2 goal lead. In a dramatic turn, Brazil swept through the Chileans in the second chukka, developing a rhythm that appeared to leave the Chileans in shock and disarray as they equalized the score within the initial 2 minutes, going on to score an incredible total of 4 goals, while blocking every Chilean offense. But snow polo is an unpredictable game, and with Brazil possibly overspent from this whirlwind performance, their luck again shifted in the final chukka. Top scoring Brazilian Pedro Zacharias lost grip on his mallet early on, followed by a fall for team-mate Calao Mello, leaving him looking winded as he remounted to applause from the crowds. Chile took back 2 goals, but then with only 6 seconds remaining, Chile took their third goal of the chukka to screams of excitement from their supporters. This second win of the tournament sealed their place in the Quarter Finals against England.
The second match saw India play France, both of which had lost in their games against South Africa. France kept India scrambling in the first chukka, with a torrent of 4 goals, and some of the dayâ€™s most notable swings.