Sheikh Sultan Bin Falah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Zayed Khalifa Zayed Al Aboudi Al Zaabi during the presentation ceremony.
Amir Naqvi, Sports Editor
Pink Polo Day signalled the return of exciting polo action to the magnificent Ghantoot Racing and Polo Club's grounds as Ghantoot A and Ghantoot B teams locked horns in a pulsating clash on Friday.
The 11th edition of the Pink Polo Day, an inspiring initiative aimed at raising awareness about breast cancer in the UAE, was held under the generous patronage of Sheikh Falah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Chairman of the club and one of the major supporters of the game in the UAE.
Held in association with Abu Dhabi Sports Council, the traditional season opener also marked the resumption of equestrian activities at the Ghantoot Racing and Polo Club after the previous season was curtailed following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic forcing sporting activities to come to a grinding halt in the UAE.
Sheikh Sultan Bin Falah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan graced the occasion and gave away the prizes to the winners. The exhibition match saw both sides locked in a fierce contest, with sportsmanship and competitive spirit at their best throughout the four chukkas of play.
Ghantoot B's Ali Al Marri Garros delivered the opening goal of the first tournament of the Ghantoot Polo and Racing Club’s season. Nasser Al Shamsi matched Garros' feat for Ghantoot A.
The following chukkas saw an interesting duel as both teams did not give enough room to their opponents, leaving the scores locked at 2-2. Yousef Bin Desmal added his second goal in the third chukka to put Ghantoot B team ahead.
However, Manuel Toccalino turned out to be the star of the day after scoring twice in the final chukka to help Ghantoot A register a 4-3 win over their rivals. The Pink Polo Day took place behind closed doors in accordance with the strict COVID-19 protocols and safety regulations laid down by UAE government and health authorities.
With no fans in attendance, hundreds of polo enthusiasts watched the match action streamed live on the Ghantoot Polo and Racing Club’s website.
Delighted with the success of Pink Polo Day, Zayed Khalifa Zayed Al Aboudi Al Zaabi, executive director of the Ghantoot Racing and Polo Club, said: “We have seen the event grow over the past years with an impressive impact and we are pleased to be contributing in raising awareness towards such an important cause.
“We truly hope that with such initiatives like Pink Polo Day, the sport will be recognized and known more widely to the public and that players can come together to play and support a good cause,” he added.
The Pink Polo Day was sponsored by YAS International Properties LLC, Capex, Bulgari, Livius, Urban Quill, Ayaso Boutique, Sabs and Prickly Pear. The next event on the club’s calendar will be an exhibition match scheduled to take place on Nov.25 celebrating the 49th annual UAE National Day.
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“This is such a lovely tournament for me as I won here two years ago, and that gave me that confidence and belief to go ahead in my career as a tennis player. I now find myself as someone who is capable of doing much better on the WTA Tour,” she said.