IT services major Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) on Monday said the ninth season of its ''CodeVita'' has won a Guinness World Records title as the world’s largest computer programming competition with 136,054 participants from 34 countries.

The 2021 TCS CodeVita competition invited college students from around the world to put their programming skills against each other to be ranked among the top student programmers globally, a statement said.

Their knowledge and coding skills were tested as they solved complex real-world problems over an intense six-hour period.

"We are delighted to be awarding TCS this Guinness World Records title for the largest computer programming competition and would like to congratulate every single one of the 136,054 people that took part to smash the record,” said Neil Foster, VP EMEA APAC, Guinness World Records Limited.

This year’s champion, Ben Alexander Mirtchouk of Stevens Institute of Technology, New Jersey, is the competition’s first-ever US winner, a statement said.

The first runner-up was Václav Volhejn (a student at ETH Zürich in Switzerland), while Ali Khosravi from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia was the second runner-up.

The top three CodeVita finishers received cash prizes of $10,000, $7,000, and $3,000, respectively. They were also offered the opportunity to intern directly with one of the company’s technology leaders.

"Long before words like hackathon became common, TCS saw the potential of programming as a sport, and that inspired TCS CodeVita. In a world where technology, innovation, and creativity are playing a pivotal role, this competition is fueling a passion for programming in brilliant young people with diverse educational, social, geographical, and cultural backgrounds,” TCS CTO Ananth Krishnan said.

CodeVita was launched in 2012 to spread awareness about the various applications of coding and help spot promising talent. Since then, hundreds of students have completed internships at TCS via CodeVita. From Season 3 onwards, CodeVita has led to more than 11,000 TCS job offers.

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