How Lagos, Ibadan teams shared top honours at Polo festival

The final weekend of the prestigious NPA/GTCO 2024 Lagos International Polo Tournament provided another wave of triumphs, disappointments and astounding athletic achievements with Lagos-based teams letting out the biggest roars, dominating on all fronts.

After a month long display of the best international polo action, the polo world will surely now be reliving the magic and the legacies thrown forth by the just-concluded tournament that saw Leighton Kings leading other two Lagos teams to victories in the Majekodunmi Cup, Open Cup and the Logos Low Cup respectively.

Hosted by Lagos Polo Club to celebrate 120 years of playing the sport in the country, dating back to back to 1904, the festival lived up to the tournament’s billing as a truly global festival, with Bowale Jolasho led Leighton Kings sweeping past three strong opponents to retain the event’s biggest prize and the Independence Cup.

Lagos Art Hotel Shoreline team extended the host city’s lead after dispatching the visiting Abuja Rubicon team to lift the glittering Italian Ambassador’s Cup. Lagos Trojan Ark pulled followed suit, clinching the Chapelhill Dandem Open Cup, while STL emerged proud champions in the race for the Oba of Lagos Cup.

Home teams enjoyed their dominance in the third week after Lagos A+/A one and Lagos MSD Baby Bear teams added the Low Cup and the Chief of Naval Staff Cup crowns respectively to their kitty.

With the solitary exception of Dapo Ojora Memorial Cup that went to the visiting Kaduna Sublime/ Dangote team in the opening week, it was Lagos all the way until the final week that Ibadan pulled the biggest upset of the festival, denying the hosts the Sani Dangote Cup and ended their dominance with a stunning victory in the Silver Cup. That upset earned Ibadan Durante the best performing visiting team of the 120th International Polo Festival.

True to its Elite, stylish and extravagant tradition nurtured over the decades, the social scene of this yearly tournament was as much of a show as the game on the pitch, with loads of entertainment and a colourful crowd that included Obas, Emirs, business magnets and society affluence lapping up the magic of the ancient noble game.

Elated Lagos Polo Club President, Bode Makanjuola, who congratulated all the winners and runners-up teams, described the 2024 edition of the international tournament that featured top Nigerian stars and their foreign counterparts, as the most thrilling and memorable in years.

He commended all the sponsors and partners of the club for their commitment in promoting the noble game in the country, noting that the relationship between Lagos polo and its benefactors over the decades has had a positive impact in the society.

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