TODAY -

1st Manipur Statehood Day Women's Polo concludes
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, January 21 2016: Organised under the theme to promote tourism industry in the State, the 1st Manipur Statehood Day Women's Polo Tournament which began from Jan 17 concluded today at Mapal Kangjeibung, Imphal which is dubbed as the oldest living polo ground in the world.

Shirui clinched the champion's trophy by defeating United States Polo Association (USPA) by a margin of 6 goals to five.

Chief Minister O Ibobi graced the closing function as the chief guest while Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam attended as special guest.

USPA International Committee member Edward J Armstrong, PDA chairman T Mangibabu and Lamlai A/C MLA Ksh Biren and USPA coach Steve Armour also attended the closing function.

Prior to the final match a cultural dance was presented for the spectators.

Addressing the closing function, the Chief Minister congratulated the Tourism Department for conceptualizing and implementing the project of introducing the first Women Polo Tournament in collaboration with All Manipur Polo Association, the Huntre ! Adventures led by Somi Roy and Edward Armstrong who have been supportive throughout the tournament.

Further he added that pony lovers of the State have expressed serious concern regarding the sharp decline in population of the ponies.

Since these animals have a long relation with the people of Manipur, the State Government has initiated steps to ensure not only the survival of this breed of pony but also to ensure its propagation, he stated.

'The State Government is in the process of drafting a comprehensive Pony Policy, which will take into accounts the scientific management, establishment of their sanctuary in those areas where its population is concentrated, breeding, export etc," O Ibobi said The policy will also include formation of a Pony Board, which will include experts from various fields and lovers of the animal and will oversee the implementation of the provisions of the policy, he added.

Further he said that the slogan "No Pony-No Polo" has been able to spread awareness among the people and hoped that people will extend their support in this endeavour to save the last surviving pony breed of Manipuri Pony.

In the first chukker of the final match, Shirui captain Julia Smith scored three goals in the 1:49th, 2:05th and 6:25th minute while USPA captain scored one goal in the 5:04th minute.

In the second chukker, Julia Smith struck home two goals in the 5:16th and 7:14th minute.

In third chukker, Julia Smith again scored a goal in 1:45th minute for Shirui while N Ashakiran Devi and Tiamo Hudspeth of USPA found their targets in the 5:45th and 7th minute respectively.

In the final chukker, USPA showed signs of recovery and scored two consecutive goals to equalize the score.

Shirui's Tiamo and Ashakiran scored two goals in quick succession in the 4:08th and 4.20th minute respectively to make the final scoreline 6-5 against USPA.


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