Sunday, August 02, 2009

3 Filipino high school students bag medals in China Math Olympiad

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines’ winning streak in international math contests continued as three Filipino high school students bagged medals in the 6th China Southeast Mathematical Olympiad (CSMO) held in Nanchang, China, from July 26-31.

John Russel Virata of Gideon Academy bagged a silver medal while Zixin Zhang of Grace Christian College and Zheng Rong Wu of Zamboanga Chong Hua High School who each won a bronze, according Dr. Simon Chua, president of the Mathematics Trainers Guild-Philippines (MTG), an organization of math experts which trained the students for the contest.

The three students were the country’s only delegates to the contest.

Dr. Chua said the CSMO is one of the most difficult math contests in the world as the contest jury requires contestants to submit full-detail solutions to the questions. A team is required to have four members but the MTG was only able to send three contestants. Despite this, all three contestants each won a medal, he said.

Virata, Zhang and Wu competed with 174 contestants from China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, India and Romania in the contest held at the Attached Middle School of Jiangxi Normal University.

Chua said this is the first time in four years that the Philippines won a silver medal in the contest. In last year’s contest, the Philippines won a bronze medal.

Virata and Wu recently won bronze medals in the 10th Invitational World Youth Mathematics Intercity Competition (IWYMIC) held in Durban, South Africa.

“We at MTG are very happy that all our delegates won medals this year. We always emphasize that training is the key to victory in any math contest,” Dr. Chua said.

The three Filipino medalists immediately flew back home after the competition dates on July 28 and 29 to take the University of the Philippines College Admission Test (UPCAT) scheduled on August 1. (Robert Degolacion)

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