Taiwanese students won three gold medals and one silver to finish atop the medals table with China and South Korea at the 45th annual International Chemistry Olympiad in Moscow, the Ministry of Education said yesterday.
Chen Chun-yi (陳君奕) and Tsai Ching-ting (蔡京庭) from Taipei Municipal Jianguo High School and Pai Chih-chun (白植竣) from Ching Cheng High School won gold medals, while Lee Yi-hsiang (李逸翔) from Taipei Municipal Jianguo High School won a silver.
Chen distinguished himself by earning the highest individual score in the experimental competition, which was especially challenging this year, said Chang I-jy (張一知), a chemistry professor at National Taiwan Normal University who led the Taiwanese delegation.
Chen worked patiently through each step of the problem and stayed calm even when the competition’s organizers initially lost his experiment, Chang said.
The week-long Olympiad was divided into two parts: the experimental competition, which took place on Thursday last week, and the five-hour theoretical competition, which was held on Saturday.
The medal winners were announced on Monday.
The students will visit St Petersburg before returning home on Sunday, the ministry said.
Chen, Tsai and Pai, as gold medal winners, will each receive a NT$200,000 award, while Lee will receive NT$100,000 for his silver medal, the ministry said. All four would also be given recommendations for admission to a local university to study chemistry, it said.
A total of 291 participants from 73 countries took part in this year’s Olympiad.
Teams from Taiwan won first place in the 1993, 1997 and 2009 competitions, the ministry said.
The teams compete under the name Chinese Taipei.