Taipei, July 16 (CNA) A team from Taiwan finished 14th out of 100 countries at the International Mathematics Olympiad in Argentina Monday, with Brian Chen becoming the first Taiwanese junior high school student to win an individual gold medal.
Taiwan has participated in the event since 1992, and has always scored among the top 20 rankings, according to the Ministry of Education.
A total of 548 participants from 100 countries competed July 4-16 in the annual math competition designed for pre-collegiate students, according to the event's official website.
Each country sends a team consisting of six high school students, one team leader, one deputy team leader and several observers.
The Taiwanese team consisted of Brian Chen, Wayne Liao, Lin Kuan-yu, Tsai Che-ping, Yeh Chih-kuan and Yu Jia-Ruei, who won one gold, three silvers and two honorable mentions, respectively.
It was the second time 15-year-old Chen had competed in the competition. Last year, he brought home a silver medal.
Chen was diagnosed with leukemia two years ago and has been battling the disease ever since, although his fervent passion for mathematics has not been dampened, his mother said.
Chen's family, friends and teachers encouraged him to register for the International Mathematical Olympiad, and provided support throughout the process, added his mother.
The gold medal winner will begin his senior high school studies after the summer at his current school -- the National Experimental High School at the Hsinchu Science Park -- so that he can stay close to home, she said.
South Korea ranked first overall in the competition this year, with China as runner-up. Next year's event will be held in Santa Marta, Colombia.
(By Hsu Chih-wei and Liu Shih-chun)