Taiwan earned three gold medals and one silver to finish second in the medals table after South Korea at the recently concluded 44th International Chemistry Olympiad in Washington, officials said yesterday.
More than 200 participants from 72 countries entered the prestigious chemistry competition for secondary students, said Taiwan’s representative office in the US, where this year’s contest was held from July 21 through yesterday.
The Taiwanese delegation of four students — chosen from a pool of 971 students nationwide — and 10 professors was led by National Taiwan Normal University chemistry professor Yao Ching-fa (姚清發). The three gold medals were awarded to Chang Chih-chin (張志勤) of National I-Lan Senior High School, and Hsieh Tsung-hua (謝宗樺) and Hsieh Hao-hsuan (謝浩玄) of Taipei Municipal Jianguo High School.
The silver medal went to Tung Yu-hung (童宇鴻), also a student at the Taipei school.
Gold medals were awarded to about 10 percent of finalists. Participants can earn a maximum of 60 points from a five-hour written theoretical examination and a maximum of 40 points from a five-hour practical exam in a laboratory, marking a total of 100 points.
Chang scored 96.19, ranking him third individually, organizers said.
His teacher, Lai Ming-liang (賴明良), lauded him for being an all-round good student, who also won gold at the International Earth Science Olympiad in 2010.
Chang described himself as a homebody who prefers anime, manga and novels over textbooks, and said his biggest dream was to have a girlfriend before turning 18.
“However, it’s almost too late for that,” said Chang, who is already a senior student.
The chemistry competition, which was held in Taipei in 2005, will be hosted by Moscow, Russia, next year.