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Team rises to the tusk.

FORGET Jonny Wilkinson's last gasp drop-goal at the Rugby World Cup -the final swing of a polo stick has secured a British win at the World Elephant Polo Championships.

After two 10-minute chukkas and the match level at 4- 4 at full time, the captain of the four-strong team scored the killer goal in the sudden death phase of the tournament. The World Elephant Polo Association (WEPA) championships, held in Nepal, is now in its 22nd year and was watched by 8,000 spectators.

The week-long event took place at Tiger Tops Jungle Lodge in the Royal Chitwan National Park and teams from 18 countries took part.

The rules are the same as polo,except competitors use longer sticks and the pitch is smaller.

Each player is assisted by a driver or a ``mahout'' who knows the elephant and is able to steer and control the animal.

Rules include swapping elephants with the other side at half time and forbidding the picking up of the ball with a trunk.

The winning team, the Tiger Tops Tuskers, represented the Nepalese hosts of the tournament, but comprised four British men.

Chivas Regal - the team representing Scotland - was beaten in the semifinal by Thailand yesterday.
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Copyright 2003 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Dec 6, 2003
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