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Three Golds in Asian Physics Olympiad

04/27/08 23:48
Indonesia Pockets three golds in Asian Physics Olympiad

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - After making a great achievement in in last year`s physics olympics in China, now the Indonesian physics olympiad team (TOFI) had proven their ability in grabbing three golds in the ninth Asian Physics Olympiad (APhO) in Mongolia.

Although the contest is still underway from April 20 to 28, the Indonesian team succeeded in grabbing three golds, one silver, one bronze and four honorable citations in the ninth Asian Physics Olympiad contest.

In the contest, Indonesia ranked sixth along with China, Taiwan, Vietname, Thailand and Singapore.

TOFI chairman Prof Yohanes Surya said on Sunday that the success was a good achievement that deserved appropriate attention.

"This achievement will also give a new hope to Indonesia that in the future our team will be able to compete with other big and advanced countries," he said.

The high scores of the Indonesian team in the international contest was reached by Adam Badra Cahaya representing the state high school SMA I of Jember, East Java.

According to Surya, such a high score recorded by Adam also indicated that it was time for TOFI to take human resources from the region during the contest for the sake of Indonesian progress.

Last year, Indonesian students snatched only two gold medals, three silvers, two bronzes and an honorable citation, at the eighth Asian Physics Olympiad in Shanghai, China.

While the Indonesian team at that time did not retain its tournament champion status, it managed to achieve the highest score in the experiments, TOFI spokeswoman Sri Setryowati was quoted as saying by news portal.

Another group of the Indonesian students also won their first silver medal in the 14th International Conference of Young Scientists in St. Petersburg, Russia, held from April 21 to April 27, TOFI said.

The great success was recorded in the 37th International Physics Olympiad in Singapore during which five bright Indonesian students managed to bag four golds and one silver.

Although still below China, which grabbed most the gold medals with five in the senior level event, Yohanes Surya said the medal tally was the country`s best-ever result after winning two golds in 2005 and two in the 2004 Olympiad.

"We aim to beat China as the defending champion next time, especially as China will play host and formulate the competition tests," he said.

To compete at the event, members of the team left regular schooling for about a year to follow a tightly scheduled training program where they solve a range of tough physics problems.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono also received the five students at his office.

One of the students, Jonathan Pradana Mailoa, was also named the "Absolute Winner" at the Olympiad by scoring the highest points for his experiment, beating 386 participants in the July 8-16, 2007 competition in Singapore.

Held in Ulananbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, the contest was participated in by 18 countries, namely Australia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Laos, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Israel, Macao (China), Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkmenistan, Uzbakistan and Vietnam.

The Indonesian team in the contest consisted of eight students and two leaders, namely Hendra Kwee Phd and Dr Sastra Kusuma Wijaya. In the team, there were also three students functioning as guest team.

The eigth students are Adam Badra Cahaya (SMAN I, Jember), Made Surya Adhiwirawan (SMAN 1, Denpasar), Rudy Handoko Tanin (SMA Sutomo, Medan), Azzis Adi Suryono (SMAN I, Cilacap), Kevin Winata (SMAK I Penabur, Jakarta), Tyas Kosasih (SMA Taruna Nusantara, Magelang), Winson (SMAK 1 Penabur, Jakarta) and Panji Achmari (SMAN 1, Yogyakarta).

As a gauge for the TOFI team before their contest in the Asian Physics Olympiad, the ability of the participatns has to be tested through a number of theories and experience made by the Physics Department of the Gadjah Mada University.

The Indonesian Physics Olympiad Team (TOFI) was neither started in Jakarta nor in any place in Indonesia, but at the William and Mary colleges, Virginia, USA in 1992. Yohanes Surya and Agus Ananda were both physics graduate students at the college, and took the initiative to invite a team from Indonesia to participate in the 24th International Physics Olympiad (IPhO) that would be held at the college.

Prof. Hans Von Bayer, the Olympiad coordinator, kindly allowed us to participate. "We also received assistance from the Department of Physics of the University of Indonesia, our alma mater in Jakarta to conduct a long distance selection process. About 75 students took part in the qualifying examination and mostly came from Java, the main island in Indonesia," Surya said.

In 1996-1998 the physics Olympiad became increasingly popular. Many students showed their keen interest to participating. "We saw a positive trend where more rural students managed to enter the final qualifying round and even being selected into the core team," he said.