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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Israel wins at world debating championships

Haifa students Michael Shapiro and Meir Yarom celebrate their win at the Worlds debating championship.

Two Haifa students took first place in the English as a Second Language (ESL) division of the World Universities Debate Championships 2011. This was the second year in a row that Israeli students won the title.

Debaters Michael Shapiro and Meir Yarom, from the University of Haifa, were named top ESL team after 12 rounds of debate at the competition. Shapiro, who is studying philosophy and general history, and Yarom, a law student, debated on a range of topics including nuclear weapons, Internet privacy and union strikes.

Their win matched that of Tel Aviv University students Yoni Cohen-Idov and Uri Merhav who pocketed the title at the World Championships in Turkey in 2010.

More than 300 teams from 150 universities took part in the week-long competition, which was held this year at the University of Botswana in Gabarone.

The World Universities Debate Championships is the largest and most prestigious of debating contests. It comprises three categories: English as a mother tongue, ESL, and English-as-a-foreign language.

The 2012 tournament is set to be held at De La Salle University in Philippines.