It all adds up to medals

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 20 July, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 20 July, 2010, 12:00am

Six secondary students from Hong Kong achieved good results at the 51st International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) in Kazakhstan, bagging one gold, two silver and three bronze medals.

The result is the best for Hong Kong in recent years. Last year, five students from the city claimed one gold, two silvers and two bronzes in Germany.

Derek Ching Tak-wing struck gold this year for Hong Kong. Derek was also the city's gold medallist at last year's IMO and at the China Mathematical Olympiad earlier this year.

The sixth former from Queen's College netted three gold medals in three cross-border maths contests within a year.

The IMO was held from July 5-14 in Astana, the capital of the central Asian country. The Hong Kong team was ranked 20th out of 97 teams. The mainland team scored the highest overall marks, while the Russians and the Americans ranked second and third, respectively.

The 51st IMO was made even more memorable for Hong Kong when a mathematical problem proposed by Tai Wai-ming, a member of the Hong Kong team at the 2008 IMO, was selected for use in this year's competition. It was the first time the organisers had accepted questions from Hong Kong. The IMO usually accepts questions submitted by university academics, college students or the event's gold medallists. It is rare for organisers to choose a question from a secondary student.

The aim of the competition is to promote maths, boost friendship among mathematicians from all over the world, and nurture and stimulate the development of young people who have a talent for the subject.