It is the biggest news that is nearly three decades in the making.
The Philippines, long-time participant in the most prestigious mathematics competition in the world—the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO)— has finally nabbed not just one, but two gold medals, marking the first time in 28 years that the Philippines claimed the top prize.
Young math wizards Farrell Eldrian S. Wu of MGC New Life Christian Academy and Kyle Patrick F. Dulay of Philippine Science High School – Main Campus, both veterans in the IMO and other international math competitions, scored 30 and 29 points, respectively, to secure the first ever set of gold medals in history for the country.
Aside from top prize, the country also brought home two silver medals courtesy of Clyde Wesley S. Ang of Chiang Kai Shek College and Albert John Patupat of Holy Rosary College. The two silvers add to the five silver medals collected in years 1989, 2010, 2014 and 2015. Ang and Patupat won silver and bronze, respectively, in last year’s IMO.
Meanwhile, Shaquille Wyan Que of Grace Christian College and Vince Jan Torres of Sta. Rosa Science and Technology High School both finished with an honourable mention to round out the best finish of the national team.
With the victory, the Philippines already leaped into top 17 of the world rankings, up from 36th out of 104 last year.
Science Education Institute Director, Dr. Josette Biyo, congratulated the team for “finally claiming the elusive gold medal.”
“Words can’t describe how the science community takes pride in the achievement of our national team. This is something that is brought about by intense dedication not just by the students but also the coaches, the parents and all the entities that gave their support for this endeavor,” said Biyo.
Biyo thanked the Mathematical Society of the Philippines (MSP) for its untiring effort in selecting, training and guiding the team throughout the process.
“We are very grateful to MSP, especially to Team Leader Dr. Richard Eden and Deputy Team Leader Dr. Louie John Vallejo, and all its officers and members for their immeasurable effort for this historic feat to happen. This is their victory as much as our students’,” she said.
The IMO is the toughest and most prestigious mathematics competition in the world. Participants are faced with six “extremely difficult” problems, which are answered in two days. The Philippines started participating in the IMO 1988.
“We have been setting historic records year after year since 2010 and it’s tempting to expect our performance to get even better than this. This is an exciting time for us in the science and education communities,” added Biyo while promising continuous support for international participation in science and mathematics competitions.