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South African team scores at International Mathematical Olympiad

Monday, 28 September 2020

Last week, six high school learners participated in the 61st International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO). The results were announced during the virtual closing ceremony earlier today and the South African team walked away with three bronze medals and three honourable mentions.

Bronze medals were awarded to Andi Qu (Grade 12) from St John's College in Gauteng, Kgaogelo Bopape (Grade 12) from Horizon International School in Gauteng, and Jean Weight (Grade 12) from Curro Hermanus in the Western Cape, while Kerry Porrill (Grade 11) from Cannons Creek Independent School in the Western Cape, Emmanuel Rassou (Grade 10) from South African College Schools in the Western Cape, and Juliette Roux (Grade 10) from Herchel Girls' High School in the Western Cape received honourable mentions.

"South Africa has been taking part in the IMO since 1992," says Prof Kerstin Jordaan, the executive director at the South African Mathematics Foundation (SAMF). "Over the years, learners achieved one gold medal, nine silver medals, 46 bronze medals, and 63 honourable mentions. We are very proud of the team's achievements this year, and would like to congratulate them on their successes."

The overall winning country of this year’s IMO is China, followed by Russia and then the United States of America. South Africa finished with a ranking of 61st out of 105 participating countries. In previous years South Africa ranked 46th (2019), 62nd (2018), 60th (2017), 58th (2016) and with the highest ranking of 27th in 1992, 1999, and 2000. For more results, visit the IMO’s official website at

"We are proud to be part of a programme that creates opportunities for global interaction amongst young people," says Celiwe Ross, Human Capital Director at Old Mutual, the main sponsor of the Old Mutual South African Mathematics Olympiad (SAMO) programme. The sponsorship includes the Olympiad, training for the IMO, the Pan African Mathematics Olympiad, as well as the training of mathematics teachers in partnership with the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences Schools Enrichment Centre (AIMSSEC). "We would like to congratulate each team member on their achievements and thank them for being mathematics ambassadors for South Africa."

Dr Liam Baker, a lecturer in mathematics at the University of Stellenbosch, and the team leader for this year’s participants says: “I am proud of our students' performance this year. Also, Kerry, Emmanuel, and Juliette are young enough to participate again next year. Thank you to our sponsors for the opportunity to represent our country in this international Olympiad.”

The closing ceremony of the 61st International Mathematical Olympiad will be broadcast live on YouTube at 12:00 on Monday, 28 September 2020. It can be watched via this link:


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