Vietnamese student wins big at International Physics Olympiad

Proactive, humorous and intelligent from a young age – that is how friends, family and teachers describe Nguyen Khanh Linh, a former student of physics at Lam Son High School for the Gifted in the central province of Thanh Hoa.

Vietnamese student wins big at International Physics Olympiad
Nguyen Khanh Linh, a former student in the physics class at Lam Son High School for the Gifted in the central province of Thanh Hoa, won a gold medal for Vietnam at the 50th International Physics Olympiad. Photo: VNN

Linh outperformed 360 contestants from 78 countries and regions to win a gold medal for Viet Nam at the 50th International Physics Olympiad held in Tel Aviv, Israel from July 7 to 15. She also took home the special Best Female Student award.

Since Linh returned home on July 16, her little house in Thanh Hoa City has been filled with the laughter of friends, relatives and neighbours coming to congratulate her and celebrate with her.

According to Linh’s mother, Chu Thi Hong Hanh, her family has a long tradition of pursuing physics.

“Her grandfather used to be a physics teacher of Ham Rong High School," Hanh said. "Her brother is also a former student of the physics class at Lam Son High School for the Gifted. During his study at the school, he frequently had to conduct experiments on natural phenomena related to physics at home. Linh therefore was exposed to such experiments at a young age and developed her own interest in them."

“Linh fortunately passed the entrance exams to good schools where she has been guided, encouraged and inspired by enthusiastic teachers to pursue physics," she said. "Her recent achievement was not much of a surprise to her family, friends and teachers, especially since she had the chance to challenge herself and then won bronze medal at the 20th Asian Physics Olympiad in Australia earlier this year."

Vietnamese student wins big at International Physics Olympiad
Linh (second from right) poses with her parents and elder brother. According to Linh’s mother Chu Thi Hong Hanh, her family has a long tradition of pursuing Physics. VNA/VNS Photo Khieu Thi Tu

Linh said her bronze at the Asian event did not meet her own expectations, but she refused to let it dampen her determination. In the event in Israel, she redoubled her efforts. The experience of competing in high-level international competitions has helped her become familiar with various forms of exams and has boosted her confidence.

“I was happy when all of my efforts had finally been paid off with the gold medal and the Best Female Student award,” Linh said.

To Linh, physics doesn't always come easy. It demands knowledge of mathematics and is based on natural laws and phenomena. In order to excel in physics, students need to possess keen observation skills and enough passion to study hard.

Despite her academic achievements, Linh does not consider herself a traditional bookworm. She does occupy herself by reading classical literature and historical books, but she also plays the guitar to relieve stress and makes sure to set aside plenty of time for relaxation.

 

“I will be absorbed in studying a subject when I find interest in it," Linh said. "There are days I only study physics if I come across an issue that I like. There are also days I feel tired and only read stories or watch movies."

Her hard work and intelligence have been recognised with awards since she was young. She won the City Excellent Student Award and Province Excellent Student Award for three subjects – maths, literature and English – when she was a fifth grader, including a gold medal for English. Despite her success in other areas, Linh decided to pursue physics and placed first in the entrance exam for Lam Son High School for the Gifted.

She continued to win awards in high school, including second prize in the national physics contest when she was in 11th grade and first prize the following year.

“I’m applying for the Department of Physics of University of Science, Viet Nam National University,” Linh said.

“I’m also preparing for studying abroad. I’m dreaming of being admitted to Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the near future.”

According to Chu Anh Tuan, the principal of Lam Son High School for the Gifted, Linh is an excellent student in all subjects and a proactive, humorous girl who is beloved by her friends and teachers.

“Not only in physics, Linh is also good at other subjects, particularly English," he said. "With such resounding achievements, she has enriched the academic tradition of the school."

The 50th International Physics Olympiad was held in Tel Aviv, Israel from July 7 to 15 with the participation of 360 contestants from 78 countries and regions.
All five Vietnamese contestants won medals, taking home three golds and two silvers. The only female member of the group – Nguyen Khanh Linh – was granted the Best Female Student award.
Vietnam ranked fourth in the competition behind China, Korea and Russia.

Khieu Thi Tu

VNS

 
 
 
 
 
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