Australian Maths Trust

Contest day 2: A clean sweep!

While the IOI team is busy during the week of the IOI, this series of blogs is being written by team leader, Joshua Lau.

I am writing this completely overjoyed by the performance of our IOI team for this year! Based on provisional results (subject to changes resulting from appeals, though these are usually few), Angus has won a Gold medal, Timmy a Silver medal, and Ryan and Tunan Bronze medals, placing 9th, 80th, 99th, and 150th at the IOI! This gives Australia our first clean sweep (all four students winning medals) since 2016. Though the IOI does not have official country rankings, this places us =13th by medals, and 16th by total score.

The team was simply outstanding today, completely outdoing themselves from the first day. On Day 2 alone, Angus placed a phenomenal outright 3rd, ahead of the overall 1st and 2nd place-getters. This leaped him from =28th on Day 1, to outright 9th on Day 2 – a top 10 finish, and our best individual performance since 2015! This is a just reward for his hard work over the last 3 years in the IOI team (not to mention over twenty 5 hour exams he has done as practice since May), having narrowly missed a Gold last year in Japan, convincingly earning himself one this year (these were awarded to the to 28 students). In fact, during Day 2, only for a handful of minutes did he dip below the Gold cutoff (and even so, just a smidget!).

Our other three students: Timmy, Ryan, and Tunan, all put in Silver medal level performances on Day 2, earning all a medal, with Timmy’s Day 1 performance enough to propel him just above (3 places above) the Silver medal cutoff, meaning we will have to wait a little longer for confirmation! Ryan successfully defended his Bronze medal position after Day 1, and Tunan resilliently stormed home in the last hour, earning 79.6 points in the space of 10 minutes, to recover from a 40 point deficit against the bronze medal cutoff on Day 1. These students’ perfomances are particularly remarkable, with all three not only representing Australia on the IOI team for the first time, but also having participated in the Australian Olympiad program for less than one year.

Such was the feeling of stress and tension being replaced by relief and sense of achievement, that upon reuniting with our students after the contest, jubliant shouting, celebratory hi-fives, and even tears (or almost-tears), shed by leaders and students alike.

After dinner, the team, along with Donna, Kevin and I took the Metro to Sahil, where we strolled along the Baku Boulevarde at night, taking in the lights of the city’s night-time skyline, and celebrating a great team performance!

Special thanks from Kevin and I must go to all the Informatics Olympiad training staff, especially Jerry Mao, who mentored Tunan and reserve Junhua, and Ray Li, who was on hand to offer insight to both students and staff during the team’s training process over the past 4 months.