South Africa scoops gold medals at the Pan African Mathematics Olympiad
A South African team of four high school students were the overall winners of
the 12th Pan African Mathematics Olympiad (PAMO), held in Pretoria over 6-14
April 2002. PAMO 2002 was hosted by the Foundation for Education, Science and
Tamara von Glehn (St Stithian's Girls' College, Randburg), Yao-hung Ou
(Christian Brothers' College, Bloemfontein), Fritz van Zyl (HS Brackenfell, Cape
Town) and Theo Mokgatlhe (St Dominic's College, Welkom) were awarded gold medals
for their performance in the Olympiad. The four South Africans claimed the top
four positions in the Olympiad and won first place in the overall team rankings.
Tamara von Glehn, top performer, was awarded a laptop as part of her prize and
Fritz van Zyl was also awarded a special prize for a highly original solution to
one of the problems.
The awards were presented at a gala banquet in Pretoria, attended by the
Minister in the Office of the State President, Mr Essop Pahad, the Minister of
Arts, Culture, Science and Technology, Dr Ben Ngubane, representatives of the
embassies of a number of African countries and many other dignitaries.
This was the 12th PAMO, an annual event which first took place in 1987.
Eleven countries (the highest number of participants ever) participated this
year: Benin, Burkina Faso, the Central African Republic, Lesotho, Mali,
Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Swaziland and Zimbabwe.
The students wrote two four-and-a-half hour papers on two successive days.
Each paper consisted of just three questions. An International Jury, consisting
of representatives of all participating countries, set and marked the papers and
ranked the students in order of achievement.
The top ten contestants and their scores were:
- Tamara von Glehn (South Africa) (36)
- Yao-hung Ou (South Africa) (31)
- Fritz van Zyl (South Africa) (30)
- Theo Mokgatlhe (South Africa) (29)
- Eunice Lemamou (Benin) (22)
- Issouff Traore (Burkina Faso) (19)
- Sonagnon Godonou (Benin) (18)
- Innoussa Sorgho (Burkina Faso) (17)
- Lenkoe Sepinare (Lesotho) (15)
- Yelognisse Alia (Benin) (15)
The team ranking was:
- South Africa
- Burkina Faso
- Central African Republic
The South African team was selected after a year-long Mathematical Talent
Search, organised by the South African Mathematical Society and sponsored by Old
Mutual. The team attended a week-long Mathematical Camp at Rhodes University
just prior to the Olympiad.
PAMO 2003 is scheduled to take place in Mozambique.
For more information: www.fest.org.za
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