Image: BBC / ITV Studios / Joseph Scanlon

Warwick’s University Challenge team reach semi-finals

Warwick’s University Challenge team have reached the semi-finals after beating Magdalene College Cambridge in Monday night’s quarter-final.

The Warwick team triumphed against Magdalene College Cambridge with 200 points to 160. Monday night’s episode was the team’s second quarter-final match. Teams in the quarter-final round have to win two matches in the round to progress to the semi-finals.

On 1 February, Warwick beat Imperial College, London in their first quarter final match, with 200 points to 120. 

The team is made up of captain Andrew Rout who is studying for a PhD in Maths, Richard Pollard who studies History and Politics, George Braid who completed a PhD in Physics and Owain Burrell who is studying for a Masters in English Literature. 

Reflecting on reaching the semi-finals, team captain Andrew Rout said: “When we started, I think we all agreed that getting through the first round and not making fools of ourselves was a good goal. To have made it this far, and to have surpassed our initial expectations is really nice.”

Andrew said it took him four attempts to get on Warwick’s University Challenge team.

“I first discovered UC in my final year at school, and thought it looked like fun,” he said. “It wasn’t until I came to university and joined the Warwick Quiz Society that I thought it was a realistic goal.

“To prepare, we met up once a week and practised from a book of old University Challenge questions.”

Meeting up with the other team members was the main issue the team faced as a result of the pandemic. 

“We had to migrate our practice to the Quiz Society’s Discord server.” 

Warwick haven’t reached the semi-finals since 2007, the same year the University won the competition for the first time. 

Andrew said: “I’m not sure there is much difference between us and the Warwick teams from previous years, except having more subjects represented by our team members. 

“I think quite a lot of being successful on UC is down to luck — getting some questions you actually know the answers to tends to help!”

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