Vietnam students win 4 golds, silvers at int’l chemistry contest

By Tue Nguyen, Thanh Nien News

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(L-R): Twelfth-graders Pham Mai Phuong and Pham Ngan Giang from Hanoi win two gold medals at the 46th International Olympiad. Photo credit: VnExpress

All four Vietnamese students at the international chemistry contest held in Hanoi came home with gold and silver medals Monday, with one of them winning the event’s highest score.
Pham Ngan Giang and Pham Mai Phuong, two 12th graders from Hanoi-Amsterdam High School for Gifted Students, won the gold medals.
Phuong and two other students from Singapore and Ukraine scored the highest mark of 83.99 out of 100 while Giang was named among 15 outstanding contestants.
Doan Quoc Hoai Nam from Hue National High School for Gifted Students and Do Viet Hung from Tran Phu High School for Gifted Students in the northern port city of Hai Phong won silver medals.
The 46th International Mathematics Olympiad marked Vietnam’s biggest success of all the editions since the country first joined in 1997.
Other 28 gold medalists came from Romania, the US, mainland China, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, South Korea, Russia, Turkey, Thailand, Iran, Japan, Taiwan, Ukraine and Singapore.
The contest gave 63 silver and 92 bronze, besides ten consolation prizes.
Phuong told the press at the closing ceremony Monday that she had a fever and fainted during the theory test which was both long and difficult.
“So my theory mark was not as good as I wished.”
She planned to attend overseas schools later to become a chemistry engineer.
She has applied for the class for gifted students at the chemistry faculty at Hanoi University of Science.
Nguyen Quoc Chinh who managed the four Vietnamese students in the contest said Vietnamese students nailed the contest as they performed better in the practice section than their counterparts in previous years.
Chinh said the section used to be Vietnam’s disadvantage but this year participants have enjoyed proper experiment time at their school and were well prepared.
He still expressed regret that the students could have been more careful in several calculations in the practice section.
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung who attended the closing ceremony said chemistry is an important pillar of basic science and chemical researches will continue to be cared for and pushed by any country.
“Vietnam government always pay attention to develop scientific, including chemistry, talents. The contest is a good environment for [the budding talents] to learn from each other and share their passion or chemistry,” he said.
“I believe many students from this contest will become excellent scientists, leaders and successful managers who will contribute largely to their countries’ prosperity.”
IChO 2014, which began on July 20, was joined by 291 contestants from 77 countries and territories.
Vietnam earlier only won one gold medal in 2012 in Washington and another last year in Russia.
The contest started in 1968, is open to high school students below 20 and held in turn by the participating countries.
Next year edition will return to its 1999 host Azerbaijan.

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