The accolade is indisputable after six maths whizzes from South African high schools represented the country at Pamo in Nairobi, Kenya, triumphing against their peers from eight countries.
The South African team’s superior maths brain power in winning the olympiad, which took place from June23 until Saturday, was highlighted in the winning of a gold medal by Grade 10 pupil Kgaugelo Bopape, who came second overall in the event.
Not far behind him was Grade 10 pupil Danielle Kleyn, who won a silver medal and was crowned Queen of Mathematics in the olympiad’s female section.
The rest of the team won individual medals. They included silver medallists Malwande Nkonyane, in Grade 12 at Horizon International High School in Gauteng, and Razeen Parker, in Grade 12 at Rondebosch Boys’ High School, as well as Klara Eybers, who is in Grade 11 at Menlopark High School in Pretoria.
Amber de Decker, in Grade 12 at Herschel Girls’ High School in Cape Town, obtained a bronze medal in the Pamo-G competition (catering for girls).
The 47 contestants who competed in the olympiad and its Pamo-G section wrote two tests consisting of three olympiad problems each. The questions called for insight and ingenuity.
South Africa was ranked the top team, followed by Morocco and Tunisia. The other countries that competed were Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ivory Coast, Botswana and Ghana.