Muscat: Triumphant, shocked and ecstasic were just a few of the words to describe how three students from Indian School Ghubrah felt after their historic win in the 16th annual Times of Oman Open Quiz Contest (TOOOQC) on Friday night.
Darshan Kalathil, Amaan Naushad and Anoop John fought a closely contested battle but emerged victorious after six rounds of quizzing to become the first school team ever to win the TOOOQC. The bright young students finished with 60 points, just five more than their closest rivals.
"It's unbelievable. It still hasn't sunk in. The other teams were too good," said a beaming Anoop.
The ISG students are regulars at the Times of Oman school quiz, but they said they never expected to have this much success in the open quiz because they were up against some of Muscat's top quizzers.
"Getting here was an achievement. The level of competition was high," said Darshan.
While Darshan will so graduate from ISG, Anoop and Amaan are now looking forward to the school quiz, where they hope to come out on top again and maybe have luck on their side again.
"Luck plays a big factor. But all in all it was a good quiz," said Amaan.
The runners-up, the Questionable Characters, who are six-time finalists, were cheerful about coming in second again, and said they were most impressed by their young opponents.
"I told (ISG) they are the best. This is our story every year. Hopefully we'll break the jinx next year," said Sushmitra Guptra with a laugh.
The Questionable Characters, who also include Rohini Dinesh and Udayan Gupta, are regular quizzers, as are their friends on the Natural Born Quizzers, who came in third after a tie-breaking question against Jet Set Go.
The negative scoring system, in which a wrong answer could result in lost points, was what cost them the win, said Natural Born Quizzers member Murali Ramaswamy, who has been in the finals before. But for his teammates, getting to the finals was a first, so they were thrilled with the results.
"It's like the icing on the cake. To get this far is amazing," said Dhanashree Singh.