Defending champions of the annual Kenya International high goal tournament,Samurai, are looking to retain the most prestigious trophy in the Kenya Polo Association’s calendar as action resume at the Nairobi Polo Club today.
With 16 high handicapped players from within the country and abroad battling for the 14 goal tournament title (the highest ever in Kenya),teams are seeking to stage adrenaline-packed clashes that will keep spectators at the edge of their seats.
In the last decade, the high goal showpiece has been played by 12-goal teams.
Both players and fans from all over the world have previously converged at the Jamhuri-based Club to watch and cheer up top saddled up men and women as they glitz up the prestigious man-and-horse extravaganza.
This year, as Club captain Dominic Grammaticas intimates, will not fall short in any way.
The four teams will play on a round-robin format.
Though eyeing their third title, Samurai team patron and player Raphael Nzomo said their opening tie will be the hardest but to crack.
Nzomo, ranked 2.5 will team up with South African five-goaler Lance Watson, George McCorkeL playing off 3.5 goals and Mbugua Ngugi (2.5) to form a handicap 13.5 Team Samurai.
Watson replaces Samurai’s 2017 skipper Brad MacGibbon and subsequently takes the captaincy role.
The quartet come face-to-face with Space & Style which comprises handicap four Buster MacKenzie from SA, Kenya’s top seed James Murray 5, Philou Salle 2 and Henri Limb in their opener.
Both sides go into their fixture on a level slate as the two have a total team handicap of 13.5.
“Our campaign is going to be difficult. Space & Style have two top goalers (Buster and Murray) in their camp, making our task in the first duel very tough.
If we clear this first hurdle, our chances of retaining the title will be alive,” said Nzomo.