Image: BBC / ITV Studios / Joseph Scanlon

Warwick’s University Challenge team through to final

Warwick’s University Challenge team are through to the final of the competition after beating Imperial College London in Monday’s episode. 

The team triumphed against Imperial College London for the second time in Monday evening’s episode, finishing with 160 points to 135. Unlike the quarter-final, teams in the semi-final only have one match that they must win to get a place in the final. 

The members of Warwick’s team are captain Andrew Rout, who is studying for a PhD in Maths, Richard Pollard, who is studying History and Politics, George Braid, who was studying for a PhD in Physics, and Owain Burrell, who is studying for a Masters in English Literature.  

Warwick have won all five of their games, defeating Wolfson College Oxford, Merton College Cambridge, Magdalene College Cambridge, and Imperial College London. 

In response to the Warwick team reaching the final, the University said: “Reaching the final of University Challenge final is an incredible achievement and we are delighted to congratulate the team on their success.

“We are sure that the whole of the Warwick community is looking forward to cheering them on and cannot wait for the final.”

This is the first time since 2007 a team from Warwick has made it to the final, the same year the University won the competition.  

Commenting on the team reaching the final, Owain Burrell said surprise was the main reaction, with the team not expecting to reach this far in the competition, adding that “there was a joke amongst the quizzers that Warwick would always go out in the second round, so getting through that match defied expectations”.

Reaching the final of University Challenge final is an incredible achievement and we are delighted to congratulate the team on their success

– University of Warwick

Reflecting on the team’s success, Owain said: “I think we’re a well-rounded team, with complementing interests and areas of knowledge, so we tend not to be competing for the same starters, and there’s a range of bonuses we can get between us.

“Of course, bringing those different interests together successfully only comes with practise, and I think practising together as a team throughout the year really helped us grow in confidence as the series progressed. ”

He added: “I think we took a quite relaxed approach to each match, going in to enjoy the quiz rather than working ourselves up about winning or losing, so coming out of our semi-final match we were pleasantly surprised (maybe slightly stunned) and we just sat down together and chatted.”

Following the team reaching the semi-final last month, team captain Andrew Rout said the team “agreed that getting through the first round and not making fools of ourselves was a good goal”.

He said that to prepare, the team “met up once a week and practised from a book of old University Challenge questions”.

However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic they had to practise on Quiz Society’s Discord server.

The team Warwick will face in the final is to be decided on 29 March, when Balliol College Oxford will play Magdalene College Cambridge in the last semi-final match. 

The final will be broadcast on BBC Two on 5 April.

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