The Bangkok Post, Published on September 22
Hua Hin, September 21, 2003
Mercedes Benz Thailand retained their King's Cup elephant polo title yesterday after winning a tough waterlogged final 5-3 against Chivas Regal, both teams energetically battling the conditions and playing superb polo.
The heavens opened as the teams went out onto the pitch, turning the already-soft ground into a swamp. The customary long shots of big-hitters Angad Kalaan and Oliver Winter sunk, not being able to bounce.
It became a battle of wrist strength, flying shots or short splashy chips being the only way to move the ball forward.
The Mercedes Benz Thailand team started with a two-goal handicap advantage which they quickly added to, Winter scoring two early goals to bring the score to 4-0.
Chivas failed to convert two opportunities but in the latter part of the first chukka made a spirited revival with Kalaan scoring twice to end the chukka 4-2 down.
The second chukka was palpably tense. An early missed sitter put Chivas at a psychological disadvantage, which Mercedes Benz were able to capitalise upon when Hugo Goetz knocked one over the line to bring the score to 5-2.
A superb late goal by Peter Prentice from a well-placed Kalaan pass produced a huge roar from the crowd but as the boggy conditions worsened, Chivas Regal were exasperated by a miss from the edge of the Mercedes Benz D-line.
When the final gong sounded, it was last years victors Mercedes Benz Thailand who retained the King's Cup.
In the day's other matches Australia's Sandalford Winery played a superb game against American Express Thailand, winning 7-3 to claim third place and the Anantara Gold Cup.
In a hotly-fought match for fifth place, Nokia Thailand beat PricewaterhouseCoopers WEPA Nepal 2-1 on a golden goal to claim the American Express Cup.
Mullis Capital beat Thaigem.com Jewels 12-2 to claim the seventh-place Nokia Cup, Tickle and the Ivories squeezed past Britain's King's Royal Hussars sponsored by Thai Airways on a golden goal to win 5-4 and claim ninth place and Q Bar scored a 5-3 victory over the Screwless Tuskers for 11th place.
The tournament was organised by Anantara Resort and Spa in Hua Hin.