By Owen Lloyd
The United States is set to welcome teams from seven other countries for the first edition of the World Polo Championship since 2017.
Defending champions Argentina, Australia, Italy, Mexico, Pakistan, Spain and Uruguay are set to compete at the 12th Championship in Florida’s International Polo Club Palm Beach and Valiente Polo Farm in Wellington.
It was originally scheduled to be held in October of last year at the Empire Polo Club in Indio in California.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic forced a postponement, with the first match now due to be held tomorrow before the final on November 6.
American Hope Arellano is set to become the first female to compete at the event after being selected for her national team.
The 19-year-old is also the youngest player in the tournament.
“I will be the substitute for this tournament,” said Arellano, global brand ambassador for the U.S. Polo Association (USPA), as reported by The Palm Beach Post.
“I will be cheering them on from the sidelines and supporting them.
“If they need me, I will be there.
“So far it’s already been an incredible experience so I can’t wait to see what the US team does and being a part of it.”
She is among seven players on the US team which includes older brother Agustin Arellano and will be coached by the pair’s father and hall of famer Julio Arellano.
He was a member of the US’ only World Championship-winning side, from the Berlin 1989 tournament.
Hope Arellano, a fourth-generation player, is ranked eight goals in the women’s rankings and two goals in the USPA’s mixed overall rankings.
Argentina are the most successful team in the Championship’s history having claimed five gold medals, while Brazil and Chile follow behind with three and two titles, respectively.
The US are the only other winners.