Muscat: Purpose and preparation helped the determined teams win the junior and senior titles at the finals of the Omantel Times of Oman Inter School Quiz Contest (TOOISQC) at the City Amphitheatre on Friday.
In a thrilling contest at the junior final, the extremely talented team from Indian School Ghubra (Aditya Chandrashekar and Srivaths Mahadevan) won by a whisker, beating Indian School Wadi Kabir (Chetan Sethu and Ashley Titus) to lift the Essa bin Mohammed Al Zedjali Rolling Trophy for their school. Indian School Darsait (Vaishak Sreekumar and Aromal Shaji) finished third.
In the senior category, Indian School Darsait's Balabhaskar Ashok Kumar and D K Krishnamurthy took an early lead to win hands down, beating defending champions Indian School Ghubra (Gokul Krishnakumar and Kriti Rajda). An impressive performance by Jelin Raphael and Amal Mathew won Indian School Ibra a third place in a quiz that saw 19 schools and 900 teams fight to reach the finals.
The winners recieved their trophies from Mohamed Issa Al Zadjali, the chairman of Muscat Press & Publishing House SAOC and editor-in-chief of Times of Oman
Summing up the contest on Friday as by far the best TOOISQC so far, quizmaster Giri 'Pickbrain' Balasubramaniam said, "It was an outstanding performance by all the teams on stage. As a quizmaster, I enjoyed this quiz very much. I think there is a huge future for the school quiz as there is an abundance of talent here."
While he congratulated the winning teams, Pickbrain said, "I am personally happy for the Bangladesh school and Indian School Ibra in the senior section, similarly for the Indian School Sohar and Pakistan School Muscat in the junior category. They did extremely well. These teams will learn from this quiz, which is extremely important and I am sure they will do well in the future."
Talking about junior teams, Pickbrain said, "It was really on par with what we thought it would be. It was really nice to see newer teams emerge on the top. At the end of the day, Indian School Wadi Kabir missed out by a whisker. They were an outstanding team."
Congratulating team Indian School Ghubra for winning, Pickbrain said, "It was amazing to see a youngster as young as a grade six student winning a quiz like this. It is indicative of the future. They were cute in the way they played the buzzer round tactically."
The quizmaster explained the senior quiz as a game of pressure tactics. "Indian School Ghubra quizzers were expected to do well and they did so but I must say, it was hats off to the team from Indian School Darsait."
He explained, "The boys from ISD came with purpose and preparation. Above all, they took their chances. They knew it was important. If you don't take risks, you don't win battles.
"The determination to win and a willingness to take chances won them the quiz."
Advising serious quizzers to look at newspaper articles in greater depth, Pickbrain said,
"Questions around Crimea, David Moyes, Small Pox, Malaysian Airlines were all taken from the Times of Oman. It is crafty research weaved around news. That is the beauty of the quiz. That explains to them how knowledge can be disseminated through a daily newspaper."
Stressing that he is overwhelmed by the quality of quizzing here, the quizmaster said, "The challenge for us now is to set the questions for the open quiz."
Dr. Ashish Tripathi, head of research at Greycaps, the man behind the questions was truly happy with the teams' performance.
"We thought many questions would go to the audience but that didn't happen. It gives me great satisfaction to see the high quality performances," Dr Tripathi said.
The audience who turned out in large numbers were fascinated by the performances.
A former Times of Oman's Open quiz champion, Sujatha Ashok, said, "The event was very well organised. The quizmaster brought to Oman some very good questions. Hats off to organisers too." "The fantastic questions challen