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Christian Dawson, Matt Le Fleur, Favour Sawyerr and Mike Smith, from Atos

19 Jun 2014

Loughborough trio finish third in global IT competition

A team of Loughborough University students has finished third in a global IT challenge aimed at producing apps to help fans attending the 2016 Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The trio were the top UK team and their third place equalled the best by a UK team in the history of the competition.

Team Chocobo were awarded an Atos Diploma demonstrating outstanding achievement and the chance to apply for internships at Atos.

Jonathan Smith, Matt Le Fleur and Favour Sawyerr, who are all doing degrees in Computer Science, received the Diploma at an awards ceremony at the Atos headquarters in Paris.

Jonathan, leader of Team Chocobo, said: “I’m so proud of what we’ve achieved as a team.

“I’m a bit disappointed that we didn’t win, but very happy that we’ve got this far and ended as the top UK team.

“I’m very grateful for all the support we had from the University and from our coach. We honestly couldn’t have got this far without them. We’ll now try to develop the app further and see how far we can go!”

Team Chocobo were one of two Loughborough teams to enter the competition, the other being Kapable (Chris Matthews, Francis Nartey, Michael Johnson) who got through to the top 10 with an app which provides help and support for disabled people visiting the Games.

Christian Dawson, senior lecturer in the Computer Science Department, said: “We are particularly proud of our teams.

“This is the first year we have entered the competition, and to get both teams in the top 10, and one coming third overall, is a major achievement. The students undertake the competition as part of their degree course and we’ll be entering two teams again next year.”

Team Chocobo produced an app called Rio Fantasy Athletics, which challenged players to build a team of athletes in the track and field events to compete against friends and other fans in leagues.

The judges said they particularly liked the design of the app and how it would encourage spectators to follow sports they would not do normally, simply to check the progress of their team.

Atos’ third global IT Challenge was won by a team from ENSEIRB-MATMECA, an engineering school in France. A team from Columbia University in America finished second.

Thierry Breton, chairman and CEO of Atos, said: “Year after year, we are impressed by the talent of the students competing; their enthusiasm and creativity as well as the sheer quality of the entries received throughout this competition.

“Through their creativity the teams demonstrate with real life examples how we will be living in tomorrow's connected world and how, through innovative thinking, IT can truly enhance how we watch and enjoy sporting events.”

Frédéric Wojciechowski, head of Olympic Games Technology at the International Olympic Committee, said: “The standard of entries has been outstanding and shows the potential that technology has to further improve our sporting experience.”

Pictured: Christian Dawson, Matt Le Fleur, Favour Sawyerr and Mike Smith, from Atos.