The runners-up team was Oxford University
The biggest debating extravaganza in Bangladesh, titled IUB Ascension, ended for 2019 on Saturday. The event is hosted by Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB), and is the flagship event of IUB Debating Club (IUBDC). The slogan for this year's IUB Ascension was "bringing the world to Bangladesh."
Three tournament finals were held before the closing ceremony; novice finals for teams who are new in debating, high school final for the top school teams of the tournament, and the open finals for all the teams of the event.
The institutions that competed in the novice finals were Jahangirnagar University Debate Organization, Islamic University of Technology (IUT), Government Science, and the fourth team of Institute of Business Administration, University of Dhaka (IBA-DU 4). The championship went to IBA-DU 4, and best speaker of the final was Aymanul Islam from the same team. The runners-up team was the second team of IUT.
In the high school final, the teams were from Academia, SFX Green Herald International School, Manarat Dhaka International School and College, and Rajuk Uttara Model School and College. The high school champion was the team from Academia, featuring Mahatir Mahmud- best speaker of the high school final- and Manal Khan. The runners-up were Green Herald.
As for the open finals, there was one team from Oxford University and three teams from IBA-DU. And the main trophy of the tournament went to IBA-DU 1, featuring Sajid Asbat Khandaker and Sourodip Paul. Sajid was also ranked the best speaker of the tournament and the open final, and Sourodip came in third in the top ten speaker list. The runners-up team was Oxford University.
Kazi Ashfaqul Huq, who competed for IBA-DU 2 in the grand finals and attended every Ascension held so far, told the Dhaka Tribune: "The theme surely changes every year, but still remains consistent to this very nerdy, geeky centre of comic books, superheroes, Star Wars and other pop culture franchises. Thematically this is the best tournament among all the tournaments I have been to."
The theme for this year's IUB Ascension was doomsday, and therefore featured decoration pieces such as four horsemen of the apocalypse, crashed airplanes, a half-model of earth breaking apart, corpses and grim reapers.
Regarding the impact of international adjudicators on the younger debaters, Kazi said: "This aspect of Ascension is obviously one of the best. However, I think, what needs to be commented upon is the sheer number of CAP (central adjudication panel) members from Worlds' (World University Debating Championship) this year. It becomes massively helpful to all of us as we get a feel for the way these people will adjudicate at Worlds'.
"We also get a feel for the motions that these people will set at Worlds', which is less than a month away. This is great because when we go to the worlds' we do not have to spend two-three rounds to get an idea as to what sort of motions these adjudicators prefer. Not just school debaters, but for veteran university debaters who have been to international tournaments, I would say that this specific Ascension just gives us an immense advantage," Kazi added.