Sunday, February 23, 2014

AEO 2014: Top Awards Go Overseas, Mostly to IIU Malaysia

The International Islamic University Malaysia contingent at AEO 2014
Foreigners raided the 2014 Asian English Olympics debate competition at Binus University Jakarta. Asian powerhouse International Islamic University Malaysia took home the main trophy and best speaker award while Hong Kong University of Science and Technology claimed the novice title. Indonesian debaters failed to reach the main final, win the novice category or become part of the top 8 speakers. It was a contrast to last year when the final was all-Indonesian.

In this year's main final, #1 IIUM A (Ameera Moore & Mubarrat Wassey) defeated schoolmates #4 IIUM B (Mahherrajan Narayan & Amshar Aziz), longtime rivals #2 National University of Singapore (Andre Kua & Raymund Vitorio) and fellow Malaysian #6 Curtin University Sarawak (Keeshaanan Sundaresan & Vigneswaran Duraragh). The winning IIU A debaters also became the co-best speakers of the tournament while four of their schoolmates made it into the top 8 list.

While there was a spike in participation and quality from abroad, especially with the prominent presence from IIUM, there was also a dearth of strong Indonesian teams in AEO 2014. Universitas Indonesia and Institut Teknologi Bandung did not field their better debaters while Universitas Gadjah Mada decided to skip the competition altogether.

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