Thirteen years after winning the championship in 2005 in Amsterdam, Italy has won back the title in the 12th FIP European Polo Championship–Quantocoin Cup that came to an end today at the Villa a Sesta Polo Club (Ripaltella – Bucine/Arezzo).
In the final match for the gold medal, the Italian team, which included Gualtiero Giori (captain), Nicolas Lopes Fuentes and brothers Tomas and Martin Joaquin, soundly defeated Azerbaijan 8 – 4.
Italy’s victory was never up for discussion as they took a 3-0 lead in the first chukka, with coach Eduardo Menendez’ team increasing its lead guaranteeing victory in the third of the four chukkas played.
Nicolas Lopes Fuentes was the real hero in the match scoring six goals. The other Italian goals were scored by brothers Tomas and Martin Joaquin.
Azerbaijan, a team that made its European Championship debut and was the great surprise in Villa a Sesta, fought bravely. The skills shown by the ‘Land of Fire’ team in the four qualifying matches, however, showed their significant technical progress and competitiveness. The Azeris will have an exciting chance to get their own back in two years time at the next FIP European Polo Championships that will be played in 2020 in Azerbaijan.
In the Ladies final, the Italian Ladies Team were able to do little to oppose the powerful German team that won by a convincing 9 – 4 ½ goals.
The girls Ginevra D’Orazio, Ginevra Visconti and sisters Vittoria and Costanza Marchiorello – led from the sidelines by coach Franco Piazza – fought to the bitter end and won the silver medal. Following last year’s gold won in Chantilly, they have now confirmed they are at the top of the ranking for ladies’ polo in Europe.
In 12th FIP European Polo Championship the bronze medal went to Ireland after beating Germany 5.5 -5 in the final for third and fourth place, while the bronze medal in the 2nd FIP European Polo Ladies Championships was won by The Netherlands, who beat France 9 ½ – 3.