PEKAN: After a lapse of six years, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah has rekindled his love for polo.
The King, who took a long break due to an injury in 2014, was back in action during a training match representing his team, the Royal Pahang Polo Club (RPPC), at the Pekan Polo ground here recently.
According to Portal Diraja Pahang, those present at the field were taken by surprise when Al-Sultan Abdullah took part in the polo match alongside his son Tengku Hassanal Ibrahim Alam Shah, who is the Regent of Pahang.
Along with Al-Sultan Abdullah and Tengku Hassanal, other players representing the RPPC were Tengku Panglima Muda Tengku Ahmad Ismail Mu’adzam Shah, Muhamad Zulhelmi Nadzar and reserve player Muhamad Shahir Ikmal Mohd Shah.
Their opponents were Tengku Arif Bendahara Tengku Muhammad Iskandar Ri’ayatuddin Shah, along with Tengku Khairul Hasnan Shah Tg Suleiman, Roslan Abd Rahman, Shahru Nizam Onn and substitute Mohamad Faizal Abu Bakar.
The King, who started the match, was replaced by Shahir in the later stages, with RPPC winning the match 9-1. Tengku Muhammad Iskandar scored his side’s consolation goal.
Al-Sultan Abdullah is no stranger at the Pekan Polo ground, as during his days as the Tengku Mahkota of Pahang, he represented RPPC during the Royal Pahang Polo Classic tournament and Sultan Ahmad Shah challenge trophy, which featured the best players from around the world.
The King played an important role in bringing the Federation of International (FIP) Polo World Cup qualifiers to Malaysia in June 2011, and matches were played at three venues: the Royal Pahang Polo Club in Pekan, the Putrajaya Equestrian Park and the Royal Selangor Polo Club.
However, Malaysia failed to finish in the top three bracket, and were unable to qualify for the FIP World Cup Finals in Argentina in October of the same year.
Al-Sultan Abdullah, who is also RPPC president, said in an interview last year that due to injuries (acquired during his football-playing years), he had stopped playing polo and football.