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South Africa moves up in rankings at International Mathematical Olympiad

Tuesday, 23 July 2019

South Africa moves up in rankings at International Mathematical Olympiad

South Africa won four bronze medals at the 60th International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) and is ranked 46th out of 112 countries. The United Kingdom hosted the world’s brightest mathletes from the 10th till the 22nd of July 2019.

A total of 621 contestants from 112 countries participated in this year’s IMO. The IMO ranks each team according to the team’s individual combined results. The top five countries at the 2019 IMO in ranking order are: People’s Republic of China and United States of America in joint first place with 6 gold medals each, Republic of Korea in third place with 6 gold medals, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in fourth place with 3 gold medals and 3 silver medals and Thailand in fifth place with 3 gold medals and 3 silver medals.

South Africa has participated in the IMO since 1992 with the highest ranking of 27th in 1999 and 2000. Each country selects a team of six learners. This year’s South African team was selected based on the results of last year’s South African Mathematics Olympiad (SAMO) and other South African Mathematics Foundation (SAMF) Olympiad programmes.  The SAMO, including the South African team’s training camps and travel to the UK, is sponsored by Liberty and co-sponsored by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA).

Nomaxabiso Matjila, Lead Specialist: CSI at Liberty says “Our investment in Maths and Science helps us honour our commitment in contributing to the broader sustainable development goals. It helps us to address socio-economic issues in the country from the cradle stage where the opportunity exists to lay a solid foundation of growth.”

Taariq Mowzer (Fairbain College in Cape Town), Aaron Naidu (Eden College in Durban), Emil van der Walt (Hoërskool Jan van Riebeeck in Cape Town) and Adri Wessels (Curro Durbanville in Cape Town) walked away with four bronze medals. They have also taken part in the IMO in 2017 and 2018. Kgaogelo Bopape (Horizon International High School in Johannesburg) and Andi Qu (St John’s College in Johannesburg), the new members of this year’s team, received honourable mentions for solving at least one question correctly. The team has been training under the watchful eyes of team leaders Liam Baker and Phil Labuschagne.

Liam Baker, leader of the 2019 South African team is very proud of the team’s performance at the IMO. “This year the South African team worked very hard and did exceptionally well. The extensive training provided by SAMF really paid off. Having moved up from 62nd in 2018 to 46th in 2019 is a great achievement and we are very proud of them,” said Mr Baker.

These and other top performing learners will now compete for the South African Mathematics Olympiad’s (SAMO) prestigious Dirk van Rooy Gold Medal which will be awarded at the SAMF’s national awards function on the 14th of September 2019.

For more detailed results you can go to www.imo-official.org .

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