The host of the National Science and Maths Quiz (NSMQ) has suggested that then defending champions Adisadel College, might have been intimidated by the crowd in the final of the 2017 competition.
Dr Elsie Effah Kaufmann said despite the fact that the contestants have practised on several occasions they get intimidated by the big stage.
“The [contestants] can practice all they like at home and in their schools, but when they get onto the stage with the lights and the microphones, it’s a problem so they need to adjust quickly to deal with that kind of stress,” she said.
The grand finale, held at the National Theatre, was eventually won by Prempeh College who garnered 53 points, edging past second-placed St. Thomas Aquinas by two points.
However, social media was dominated by talk of the performance of Adisadel College, represented by Edward De-Graft, Vanderpuije Quansah and Sylvanus Afful Assan-Annobil, who finished way behind on 31 points.
The highly-patronized final saw many old students of the participating schools join the crowd at the National Theatre to cheer on their contestants.
Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show on Monday, Dr Kaufmann stated that, the two contestants’ performance might have been affected by the increased attention despite her attempts to get them to relax.
“Adisadel, on the final day, was not looking as confident as the Adisadel we had seen previously. The young men – De-Graft and Annobil – they seemed intimidated by the crowd. Every time I see that in a contestant, it bothers me. I tried to make some jokes to get them to relax but they were still so tense,” she said.
‘Prempeh were amazing’
Dr Kaufmann also praised the champions, Prempeh College for their stunning performances throughout the competition, culminating in their win at the tournament.
She noted their record 82-point haul in their Quarterfinal which she acknowledged as impressive, despite having docked them two points for “indiscipline” in that contest.
According to her, the contestants from the school might have tried to intimidate the other contestants by ringing their bells while the students from the other schools were speaking.
Dr Kaufmann, however, added that Wonder Sarfo-Ansah and Daniel Osei Badu were a formidable team who could challenge any other in the world.
“[Prempeh College] were amazing honestly. [The quarter-final] was the contest where I actually penalised them. So my advice to them after that was to work on their discipline.”
“I penalised them on two occasions in the same contest and yet they still got 82. It was a very strong team and on a good day, they could answer any question. They were good.”