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Student wins gold medal at International Mathematics Olympiad twice

Ngo Quy Dang has earned the maximum score at the International Mathematics Olympiad (IMO). In a previous IMO competition, he was the first Vietnamese 10th grader to participate in the event.
Ngo Quy Dang

The last time Vietnam had a student obtaining a perfect score at IMO was in 2003 when Le Hung Viet Bao was the winner.

Dang is the ninth student who has won gold medals at IMO twice.

Before winning the gold medal at IMO when he was in the 10th grade, Dang ranked fourth in the world.

Prof Le Anh Vinh, head of the Vietnam’s delegation attending IMO, said the exam questions this year related to Combinatorics and Arithmetic might have been an advantage for Dang as this is his strength. However, this was just a small advantage.

Vinh said he was not surprised about Dang’s excellent results. Recalling last year’s competition, Vinh said the absence of Dang as a member of the Vietnamese national team was a big regret.

“Dang was not a member of the  team attending IMO last year because his scores were not high enough. If he had been a member, he might have become the first Vietnamese student winning three gold medals at IMOs,” he said.

To become a member of the national competition team, students had to attend an exam. Many questions on last year’s exam were in geometry, which was not Dang’s strength.

Dang vowed to attend IMO again. And his efforts were awarded: he won the second IMO gold. 

When he was at secondary school, his friends called him King of prizes. With excellent learning records, he admitted to the High School for the Gifted under the Hanoi University of Natural Sciences without having to attend the entrance exam.

In 2019-2020, Dang, who was then a 10th grader, attended the national competition where the others attendees were 12th graders and he won second prize.

Vinh said he discovered Dang’s abilities when the student was in the seventh grade.

“I gave some mathematics questions designed for training excellent students and asked Dang to solve them. And he gave completely different solutions,” Vinh said. “Dang’s way of solving questions is always very natural, which doesn’t need much technique."

Vinh said that Dang is a special student as he not only is intelligent but has a serious attitude about studying and likes to learn all the time. 

Thanh Hung

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