Muscat: The first hurdle is over. These teams have passed it. Now, they are all set to fight it out at the mega prelims of the Omantel Times of Oman Inter School Quiz Contest (TOOISQC), to be held on Wednesday at the Indian School Ghubra.
The prelims round saw around 900 teams participating. Twelve teams each from the senior and junior categories will make it to the finals from among those that qualified the prelims held at the different centres. The finals will be held on Friday, May 2, at the City Amphitheatre.
Oman's favourite quizmaster Giri 'Pickbrain' Balasubramaniam said he expects a close finish at the mega prelims.
He said, "Prelims quizmaster Lloyd Saldanha has certainly been impressed with both the enthusiastic turnout and the ever improving quality of the teams. We have been discussing after each school round and believe the mega prelims would be a very close fight between extremely capable teams."
Pickbrain is happy over a clear improvement in the performance, compared to the previous years.
"However, that does not come as a surprise to us. In most cities where we do annual quizzes, this trend is seen as teams become used to a format and broadly know what to expect. If the same teams are taking part each year, then it is indicative of serious quizzing interest formation," he explained.
The quizmaster credits teachers and parents for the overwhelming response that the quiz event has received.
"It is undoubtedly an event that the children eagerly look forward to being part of each year. What also results in higher participation is when teachers and parents encourage their wards and this certainly seems to have happened. I also truly appreciate the involvement and encouragement of the principals of the schools as well. From the reports, I see them personally involved in this huge quiz which is fantastic," he said.
Pickbrain's clue for the mega prelims is simple: "Keep reading the Times of Oman," he said. On whether any new format for the finals or mega prelims has been planned, Giri said, "The focus this year is on speed of thought and, of course, the ability to work out the answers. We would be testing them across topics so we find a winner who not only has depth but breadth as well."
The winning school at the Times of Oman Inter School Quiz Contest (TOOISQC) will lift the Essa bin Mohammed Al Zedjali Rolling Trophy for their school.
Omantel, the pioneer total communications solutions company is sponsoring the TOOISQC.
Teams that will battle it out to reach the finals include Indian School Sohar, Indian School Muscat, Modern International School, Indian School Ghubra, Pakistan School Muscat, Indian School Maabela, Bangladesh School Muscat, Indian School Ibra, Sri Lankan School Muscat, Indian School Salalah, Indian School Nizwa, Pakistan School Sohar, Indian School Wadi Kabir, Indian School Seeb, Indian School Darsait, Indian School Muladha and Indian School Sur.
"We request all the school children who are participating to come in their respective school uniforms for the prelims and mega prelims," said a spokesperson from the Times of Oman quiz team. "We also request students to report early as we plan to start on dot," she added.
The reporting time for the junior teams is 3.30 pm and the reporting time for the senior teams is 6 pm.
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