SINGAPORE - The Singapore national team were defeated 3½-3 by Singapore Polo Club 1 (SPC 1) in the final of the SEA Games Challenge Trophy yesterday after the polo match was suspended in the third chukka owing to inclement weather.
Held at the Singapore Polo Club for the first time, the tournament also saw the Hong Kong polo team and a second team from SPC take part.
Singapore opened the scoring early on through captain Satinder Garcha to take the lead. But SPC 1 responded quickly with a Sattar Khan goal to end the first chukka level.
The following chukkas were a repeat of the first, with Singapore taking the lead twice through Ang Roon Kai before Khan cancelled it out both times.
A lightning alert was issued in the middle of the third chukka, ending the match prematurely and giving SPC 1 the victory, courtesy of a half handicap advantage.
According to Garcha, the tournament serves as a important build-up to the upcoming SEA Games in August.
Polo will be returning to the Games after a 10-year absence. It last featured at the 2007 Games in Korat, Thailand where Singapore won the silver after falling to Malaysia in the final. Prior to that, Singapore participated in the inaugural event back in 1983 on home ground where they won bronze.
The squad heading to Kuala Lumpur boasts a wealth of experience. Veterans Garcha and Iqbal Jumabhoy, who took part in the 2007 and 1983 Games respectively, will lend a steady hand in their quest for gold.
However, Singapore will have their work cut out for them as they go up against rivals Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines and Brunei.