Yesterday’s Argentine Open final was fantastic, one that will go down in the history books as one of the best finals. History was made, but those of us who were lucky enough to experience it will remember it for the great game it was.
Ellerstina started the brighter, taking the game to the favorites, La Dolfina. But by midway, La Dolfina were on top, and dominant. They looked in control, and once they had taken the lead, they looked like winners.
They were three goals ahead going into the 8th and final chukka, but a spirited comeback by Ellerstina forced the game into a supplementary sudden death chukka. That was unexpected and much to the credit of Ellerstina. Pablo and Gonzalito Pieres was outstanding to get them back.
It was not to be for Ellerstina though. Juan Martin Nero, the MVP of the tournament scored the golden goal to give this La Dolfina team a fifth successive Argentine Open.
During the game, Adolfo Cambiaso scored his 900th Open goal, an incredible statistic if you think about it. This man is truly incredible. Not only has he revolutionised the way the game is played, he has revolutionised the sport by playing clones. They all performed incredibly well.
Cambiaso is not just the best, he is still in a class of his own. If Nero et al are 10 goals, Cambiaso is definitely worth more. That a revision to the handicap system is being talked about, taking handicaps to 15 or even 20 goals, is testament to the way Cambiaso has rewritten the sport.
I don’t think we will ever see another Cambiaso. Not in my lifetime. Watching him in action has been a privilege.
In the curtain raiser on field No 2 in Palermo, La Dolfina Brava won the Argentine Open Ladies Final, also beating the Ellerstina ladies in an historic final. It, too, went to sudden death, before a Nina Clarkin 30 yarder ended it for the gallant Ellerstina girls.
The Argentine Open is a very social event, and it was a chance to catch up with a lot of polo friends from around the world. We had a few Malaysians here, but in general it was a small South East Asian contingent this year.
The FIP General Assembly on Friday was very interesting as Malaysia continues to emerge as an important player in international polo in the region. I was able to present some of our agenda to FIP and the member countries, and to make some important inroads.
The draw for the FIP Snow Polo World Cup was also conducted at the General Assembly. I have been appointed again as the FIP Tournament Director, for a seventh time.
Personally, I was conferred another Ambassadorship by the President Nicholas Colquhoun Denvers. My next term as a FIP Ambassador runs till 2021. If you look at the company I am in, I am truly honoured.