The titles and medals for the FIP European Championships -Quantocoin Cup will be awarded tomorrow at the Villa a Sesta Polo Club (Ripaltella – Chianti, Tuscany) after ten days of matches and a very intense programme (with 26 games played on three different fields) and the participation of ten nations.
The teams facing one another in tomorrow’s two finals will be Italy and Azerbaijan, for the 12 th edition of the mixed European Championships (the two teams leading the ranking of the two groups after qualifying matches), and Italy and Germany for the ladies’ championship.
The great surprise has been the Azeri team, making its debut in this European Championship.
The Azeri team’s qualification for the final was decided on Friday in a close match against the former champions from Ireland (5-3 ½ ). Watched with curiosity on the eve of the match, the team bearing the colours of the ‘Land of Fire’ amazed everyone with its determination and perfect tactics. The players, ponies and the entire team had arrived at the Villa a Sesta Polo Club five weeks ago to complete their training at the club hosting these championships.
The presence in the finals of the Italian team, fighting to stand on the highest step of the podium in both
championships, is contributing to mounting excitement and great expectations for tomorrow. Morale is high and both these great teams, which have played leading roles in this championship (Gualtiero Giori captain, Nicolas Lopes Fuentes and the brothers Tomas and Martin Joaquin and, for the Ladies , Ginevra D’Orazio, Ginevra Visconti and sisters Vittoria and Costanza Marchiorello who is also the captain) have said they are “very geared up and highly motivated to play at their very best.”
The matches valid for the bronze medals will be played between Germany and The Netherlands, teams that were the favourites on the eve of these championships, while The Netherlands and France will play for the ladies’ bronze medal.
Andres Laplacette team coach-player Azerbaijan
“Even if this event marked our debut in a European Championship, we were confident we would play well. We have trained hard, especially in order to strengthen the team spirit and improve various technical aspects of the game and the results are proving us right. Now all that remains is for us to complete the great work done so far. We think we’re in with a chance!”
Eduardo Menendez – coach Team Italia
“We are ready to give battle and are highly motivated. It’s a home match and in addition to our responsibility for the sporting result we also have our supporters and all those involved to think of as they providing us great support. The Azeris have great ponies and I am well aware of their potential since they have been training here at Villa a Sesta for the past five weeks. We will be playing against a very united team with excellent ponies”.
Live broadcasts: Live streaming on www.pololine.tv e www.classhorse.tv
Facts & Number
350 polo ponies in the championship
10 teams playing in the 12 th FIP European Polo Championship-Quantocoin Cup
Group A: Azerbaijan, Ireland, The Netherland, France and Slovakia
Group B: Italy, Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Spain
4 teams in the FIP Ladies European Polo Championship
France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands