Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Scots Win at Elephant Polo

Scotland can finally declare itself a sporting heavyweight after winning the Elephant Polo World Championship in Nepal.

The Scots snared the 2004 title after a week-long tournament in the Himalayan kingdom's Royal Chitwan National Park, attended by crowds of up to 5,000 people.

"It's fantastic for Scotland - we don't normally win a huge number of tournaments these days," team captain the Duke of Argyll told Reuters on Tuesday.

The Scots beat local favorites National Parks of Nepal, 12-6 last Friday, winning back a crown they held in 2001.

Elephant polo is similar to normal polo but the field is smaller and the four competitors on each side play two 10-minute "chukkas."

Elephants are controlled by "mahouts" or drivers, while the polo players wield long bamboo sticks to hit the ball. A foul is declared if an elephant picks up the ball with its trunk.

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