The Kenya International Polo tournament kicked off on Saturday with Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa featuring in the tourney.
The tournament sponsored by White Cap Lager, has four teams - Samurai, Toyota, White Cap and White Cap Lite.
According to the Kenya Polo Association Vice Chairman Raphael Nzomo, the annual 14-goal tournament which has been in existence since the 50’s is now gaining momentum in the country with more Kenyan players actively involved in the sport.
“We now have pride in the game as Kenyans since it was previously dominated by colonialists and the game is favourable to all genders so that no one feels discriminated,” said Nzomo.
The Samurai team consisting of Tom de Bruin, Hansi Bruins, Raphael Nzomo and Jules Camm beat their Toyota opponents consisting of South African International Guy Watson, Jammie Murray, Craig Miller and Joss Craig 9-6 to move to the top at the Jamuhuri Park Showgrounds.
South African international captain Tom de Bruin was full of praise for the local lads.
“It was my first time in the country and the match against Toyota was an eye opener to how good players are all over Africa, now that we have gotten rid of our nerves we can now play even better tomorrow,” said De Bruin.
De Bruin, who is known for his strong forehand, scored seven goals for Samurai with three of them in the second chukker, while Nzomo and Hansi added one goal each in the 4th and 5th chukkers.
For the Toyota team, Jamie Murray dominated the match scoring five goals for his team while Craig Miller scored one goal in the 3rd chukker.
White Cap consisting of Gareth Evans, Casimir Gross, Tarquin Gross and Ben Stonewigg lost 7.5-10 to their White Cap Lite opponents consisting of Duncan Watson, Archie Voorspuy, Izzy Parsons and Mbu Ngugi with a two and a half goal difference.
Duncan Watson scored six goals for the White Cap Lite as his fellow player, arguably the best female polo player, Izzy Parsons scored the final goal for the team. Caimir Gross scored five goals for White Cap with Gareth Evans scoring one goal and Tarquin Gross and Ben Stonewigg both scoring two goals in the 4th and 5th chukkers.
Samurai will go against White Cap Lite while Toyota will face White Cap team in the second day of the league on Saturday.