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Taiwan set to challenge New Zealand Olympians

For Immediate Release
10 June 2005

Taiwan set to challenge New Zealand Olympians

While most of our next Olympic hopefuls have their sights set on Beijing 2008, four Olympians are in training for Taiwan 2005.

Four Year 13 students have been chosen to compete at the Chemistry Olympiad after a rigorous selection process held at The University of Auckland recently. The process involved more than 100 students and was narrowed down to the final four at a week long chemistry camp, followed by a three hour practical exam and a three hour theory exam.

“This year’s students were all of a high calibre and it wasn’t until their final exam when we could really tell them apart,” says Dr Sheila Woodgate of the Faculty of Science at the University.

“The camp not only produced four exceptional students for the Olympiad, but provided a platform for many young New Zealanders from which to build a better appreciation of the study of Chemistry.”

The Faculty of Science at The University of Auckland offers financial assistance, while its Department of Chemistry offers coaching and support for participants in the selection process and for the Auckland members of the team once they have been chosen.

“Last years team won four medals, one silver and three bronze medals making it one of the most successful teams ever, this year’s team would love to repeat or better this performance,” says Dr Woodgate.

This year’s team consists of Lewis Winn from St Pauls Collegiate, Daniel Chan from Mt Roskill Grammar, Devarshi Bhattacharyya from Auckland Grammar and Wei Li Jiang from Burnside High School.

The team head to Taiwan in mid July, where they will compete against 260 students from more than 60 other countries. Theoretical and practical questions will be posed from almost all sectors of chemistry, and are based on a set of preparatory problems supplied by the organisers.

New Zealand has been sending teams to the Chemistry Olympiad competitions since 1992 and they have always won medals, a tradition they hope to carry on.


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