No sooner did the last question flash on the screen, quick fingers grabbed the buzzer and the words ‘versions of need for speed game’ were jotted down quickly. The few seconds of hushed silence were broken by the quiz master: “We have the new Champion. It’s Thiruvananthapuram…”
After that nail-biting finish, Ajay A. Kumar and R. Rajath of the Loyola School in Thiruvananthapuram were crowned the national champions at the finals of The Hindu Young World Quiz 2011, here on Monday.
The Hindu Young World Quiz 2011, an initiative under The Hindu’s Newspaper in Education (NiE) programme, had around 20,000 students from 5,000 schools participating in 16 centres across southern India. The finals saw six teams battling for the top honours. These teams were selected through two semi-final events in which 16 regional winners competed.
Team Loyola, which had come first in the regional finals and the semi-finals, were slow off the blocks. Leading the pack till the very last question were George M. Thottan and Arshad Muhammed from the Rajagiri Public School in Kochi.
The turning point came when the contestants were asked, “what are underground, carbon, Shift, Nitro, World, Hot pursuit (2010), the run (latest from November 15) a non-exhaustive list of –.” Hardly had the quiz master spoken than the buzzer in front of Team Loyola sounded. The audience waited with bated breath to see whether the team’s answer was correct. A few seconds later, the audience collectively leapt to its feet. Cheering and applauding with gusto was the Member of Parliament from Thiruvananthapuram, Shashi Tharoor. His ‘home team’ were now the national champions.
The second runners-up were R. Guru Pharshane and R. Avinaash of the Petit Seminaire, Puducherry.
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