Times of Oman Open Quiz Contest, 15th Edition | Quiz Review
03 December 2011
MUSCAT: They came, they fought hard, and they conquered. After an exciting battle of grit, nerves and wit, a new champion team emerged at the 15th edition of the Times of Oman Open Quiz Contest (TOOOQC).
Know Brainers — the team comprising Sujatha Ashok, R. S. Sumanth and Raji Sumanth — put a stop to the dominance of the defending champions, Mostly Clueless, to lift the ultimate quizzing trophy in Muscat, at the packed-to-the-brim City Amphitheatre in Muscat on Thursday.
Four time champions Mostly Clueless — the team comprising Dr Anupam Kakaria, Shafeek M. K. and Shaheen Jamil — and last year’s runners up, Questionable Characters (Rohini Dinesh, Sushmita Gupta and Udayan Gupta) displayed amazing performances to put up a brave fight to finish second and third (after a tie-breaker) respectively.
ISG Sreeraag Mohan and team (Sreeraag Mohan T, Darshan Regi Kalathil, R. Rajaganapathy Sankar) were crowned the school quiz champions.
ISM Quizzing ISMiites (Rohan Karnawat, Srujan Keskar, Shuvankar Goswami) and ISG Anmol Kakaria and team (Anmol Kakaria, Fahd Rayees, Anirudh Sen) finished first and second runners up respectively.
But the true champions of the evening were, of course, the audiences, who turned up in huge numbers despite the rain clouds looming large over the skies. They didn’t allow the thoughts of inconvenience the rains could have brought to dissuade them from attending this Times of Oman event that’s so close to their hearts.
Speaking to Times of Oman, quizmaster Giri ‘Pickbrain’ Balasubramanium said, “My first reaction is that the true winners of today’s (Thursday’s) event are the audience of Muscat. No two ways about it. It is amazing that despite the climate that prevailed, people turned out in such large numbers. It is their reflection of solidarity to an event like this.”
Sharing his thoughts on the champions, Know Brainers, Giri said, “The winners were an outstanding team. They have been waiting in the wings for way too long. I think they will win a few more finals. It is just the beginning for them.”
About the runners up, Mostly Clueless and Questionable Characters, Giri said, “They were known and expected to do well. It was a few tactical errors here and there that led them to lose. Facts like not getting their hands to the buzzer fast enough cost them some points.”
Explaining that this has been the closest TOOOQC that Muscat has ever witnessed so far, Giri said, “That to me is the changing times. Till it got to the buzzer it was five teams battling. So I think it was outstanding.”
Giri also suggested that Times of Oman should now restart the school quiz.
“I am sure the public here who root for a knowledge property like the TOOOQC wants that and would welcome that,” Giri noted.
TOOOQC was presented by Samsung. The major sponsors were Muscat Pharmacy, Pocari Sweat, Perfumes and Cosmetics. The co-sponsors were Sohar Aluminum, Al Mudhish and Delicio. Jet Airways was the official airlines and Sixt was the official rent a car company.
The official hosts were Platinum Hotel. The venue sponsors were Badr Al Samaa, Oasis Water, Shah Nagardas Manji, E-Travels and Tours, Malabar Gold, New India Assurance, Hoshan Trading, Apparel International and Spicy Village. The prelims of TOOOQC was organised at the Indian School Ghubra auditorium.
Earlier, Lakshmi Kothaneth, host for the evening, gave a perfect start to the proceedings, welcoming the huge crowd which voice voted the decision to shift TOOOQC to the month of December.
The event was earlier held in the month of April.
The event started with the school quiz, with team members — ISM Unchartered (Ashwin Menon, Arun Philips, Daniel Joseph), PSM Crashers (Aly Reza, Hager Abdul Sami, Syed Tumail Jafri), ISD Master Minds (Pranav R Krishnan, Francis Cilwin, Hadi Jamal), ISG Anmol Kakaria and team (Anmol Kakaria, Fahd Rayees, Anirudh Sen), ISM Quizzing ISMiites (Rohan Karnawat, Srujan Keskar, Shuvankar Goswami), ISG Sreeraag Mohan and team (Sreeraag Mohan T, Darshan Regi Kalathil, R Rajaganapathy Sankar), ISD Talent Knights (Mithun Prasad, Collins Jacob, Kelisto Chalissery) and ISWK iQuiz (Krishna Kamath, Lolith Lohidhakshan, Mohammed Suhail P M) providing exhilarating moments for the quiz.
Whether it was the rounds ‘first frontiers’ or ‘snap shots’ or the ‘final countdown’, the quizmaster, the school team members, and the audiences lent electrifying touches to the action.
Lauding the school teams for their participation, Giri said, “Hats off to their nerves and talent. It is not easy for the school children to perform with a 5,000 audience watching them.”
Before the start of the mega finals where the two school team toppers competed with the six open teams, a short film marking 15 years of Times of Oman Open Quiz Contest (TOOOQC) was screened.
At the mega finals, the open quiz teams— Know Brainers(Sujatha Ashok, R S Sumanth, Raji Sumanth), Three D (Armstrong Jeyakumar, Sangeetha Sridhar, Dr Rajan Philips), TBTF (Nitin Aravind, Roshan Kamath, Namrata Sheshadri), Mostly Clueless (Dr Anupam Kakaria, Shafeek M K, Shaheen Jamil), Questionable Characters (Rohini Dinesh, Sushmita Gupta, Udayan Gupta) and Roaring 40s (Sridhar Babu, Jacob Chandy, Harish Bilgi), ISG Sreeraag Mohan and team and ISM Quizzing ISMiites, provided impressive touches by cracking some very difficult questions.
The many rounds — including ‘global update’, ‘global vision’, ‘global crosswords’, ‘global connections’, ‘global preferences’ — had interesting oral and visual questions.
Most questions for the quiz were taken straight from the Times of Oman newspaper published last year and the round “global crosswords” had segments named after sections appearing in Times such as Extra, Entertainment, Market, Connect, Mind Games, and Commentary among others.
For the first time in a quiz in Muscat in the round ‘global preferences’, each team was quizzed on their preferences based on a form the teams had filled up during the prelims. Giri’s team in India worked on the questions once they received the filled in forms from the teams. The questions to each team were on what the teams like in life. In 45 seconds, they had to answer five questions on their subjects of preference.
Pickbrain kept the audience entertained by passing the unanswered questions from teams to them and also hurling special questions at them. Correct answers were followed by many gifts. From the grade four ISM student Ankith to seasoned quizzers like Murali R, they cracked tough questions to win some fabulous prizes.
The audiences answered five multiple choice questions via SMS to take home interesting gifts.
The quiz proved that one should always keep one’s quest for knowledge alive.
“Since the start of Times Quiz, I have seen so many new faces putting above average efforts to make it to the finals and win. It is a fabulous event,” said Riyas, country manager of Sea Pearls.