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Manchester all-stars in US quiz challenge

09 Apr 2010

Four students from The University of Manchester are in Chicago this weekend to take part in an international quiz competition.

The four have all previously represented Manchester on the BBC’s University Challenge show, but now they’ve been brought together in a 'super-team' to pit their wits against some of the top institutions from America and the rest of the world.

The Manchester quartet is competing in the 2010 Intercollegiate Championship Tournament (ICT) being held at the Hyatt Regency O'Hare hotel in Chicago this weekend.

The team includes Adam Clark, 2nd year BA Ancient History, Jonathan Collings, 1st year BA Geography, Jakob Whitfield, 1st year PhD History of Technology and Tom Whyman, 3rd year BA Philosophy and Politics.

The ICT was founded by National Academic Quiz Tournaments (NAQT), which organises the premier high school and college quiz bowl championships in North America.  NAQT was set up in 1996 by former players and coaches from across the US.

Those competitors, including several national champions, are now professors, school teachers, lawyers, engineers, software developers, physicians and research scientists who make time to promote and improve the fast-paced question-and-answer game that was an important part of their lives. They are motivated by the chance to provide the next generation of students with more and better opportunities for competition than they themselves had.

Manchester team spokesman Jakob Whitfield said: “The team selection was down to our University Challenge coach, Stephen Pearson, who received the initial invite. We were selected on the basis of the types of questions that are likely to come up in an event of this nature.

“The questions are quite different to those we might expect on University Challenge, as they often have a US bias and they are definitely a lot longer!”

The team has been able to take part thanks to generous donations from the University, from both the President’s Office and the Alumni Fund, and they will promote The University of Manchester by wearing special kits provided by Sport, Trading and Residential Services (STARS).