For the First Time Ever, the Philippines Has Won the World Universities Debating Championship

Ateneo de Manila University becomes only the second Asian university to do so.

Ateneo de Manila University beat hundreds of the best debate teams worldwide on its way to clinching the Philippines' first-ever World Universities Debating Championship.

Held from December 27 to January 4, the World Universities Debating Championship is the largest international debating tournament in the world. It's hosted annually by an institution selected by the World Universities Debating Council. This year, it was held at the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid, Spain.


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Ateneo A, led by Tobi Leung and David Africa, defeated Princeton University of America, Tel Aviv University of Israel, and Sofia University of Bulgaria in the grand final. Leung and Africa each also bagged the distinctions for 2nd Best Speaker and 8th Best Speaker in the world. Hadar Goldberg from Tel Aviv University, on the other hand, was named the best speaker of the tournament.

Ateneo is only the second university in Asia to win the top prize in the tournament. The last Asian school to do so was a team from BRAC University in Dhaka, Bangladesh last year.

The tournament is considered by many as the "Olympics of debating."

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