Israeli high school students picked up six medals — including a record three gold medals — at the International Mathematical Olympiad this month in Russia’s St. Petersburg.
The national team finished seventh overall among countries, its best-ever showing in the competition.
The gold medal winners were Yahel Manor of Haifa, Yair Shoham of Ness Ziona and Almog Wald of Petah Tikva. Omri Zemer of Re’ut and Shahar Friedman of Rehovot picked up silver medals, and Dror Frid of Tel Aviv finished with a bronze.
The showing was the strongest for the Israeli team since it began competing in the Olympiad in 1979, and the first time it finished in the top 10. The squad has won six medals in past competitions, but this year was the first time it brought home three gold medals.
Students’ training is led by the Education Ministry and the Future Scientists Center, a group that aims to maximize the potential of gifted students, and the team prepared for the tournament at the Weizmann Institute of Science.
Education Minister Yifat Shasha-Biton congratulated the squad, with a statement from the group quoting her as hailing the team’s performance as unprecedented.
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“Israeli national science teams continue to demonstrate high capabilities against national teams from all over the world and reached impressive and inspiring achievements,” said Eli Fried, the head of the Future Scientists Center.