No.1 in the World! How WANG Yichuan Win Gold Medal with Full Score?

The results of the 62nd International Mathematics Olympiad held in St. Petersburg were recently announced, and the Chinese national team made another brilliant achievement with the result of No.1 in the total team score, and all six team members won the gold medal. WANG Yichuan from No.2 High School of East China Normal University won the only full score, 42 points.

How is the full score gold medal gained?

Let’s listen to what WANG Yichuan and his coaching teacher TANG Lihua said.

WANG Yichuan

The only full score (42 points) in the world in the 62nd International Mathematics Olympiad gold medal winner
selected into the national team with the 36th China Mathematics Olympiad gold medal
selected into the national training team with the 35th China Mathematics Olympic gold medal
ranking world top 1%, and No.1 of the 12 listed high school students in the second Alibaba global mathematics competition
Recommended to Tsinghua University Computer Science Experimental Class (Yao Class) in the second year of senior high school.

Q1: Did you start to study Mathematical Olympiad from an early age? Can you talk about your experience of learning Olympic Mathematics?

I like Mathematics very much and since I was a child, I began to study Mathematical Olympiad in primary school and won the second prize in municipal competition in primary school and the first prize in the 33rd Shanghai high school Mathematics league in the third year of junior high school.

Q2: In addition to Mathematics, what other interests and hobbies do you have? Can you share them with us?

I like Computer Science.  I also participated in the Informatics competition in junior high school and won the first prize of the national Informatics Olympic League (Shanghai Regional).

Q3: What preparations did you make for this competition?

In the past, the competition time of IMO was in the morning, but this time the examination time was changed to the afternoon, and as it was online regional competition, I adjusted my work and rest time in time.  At the same time, in the final training stage, the difficulty of training questions was increased.

Q4: Were the questions in this competition difficult?

The second and third questions on the first day were quite difficult. The competition lasted four and a half hours.  I finished the first question quickly, and yet the next two questions took me three and a half hours. The third question, I think, has been the most difficult geometry question in the formal examination over the years. I felt that I might not be able to solve it, because I couldn’t calculate it with algebraic method. Later, after several attempts, I finally deduced it with pure geometric method.

Q5: What do you think is the main reason for your full score?

I guess it’s because I’m luckier, haha. Well, I made full preparations. My learning method is to strictly implement the learning plan, train according to the competition requirements, do exercises regularly and quantitatively every day, and always maintain the state of competition.

Q6: As the only contestant with full score in the world, what other goals do you have in the future?

I will keep studying hard in the University and making good use of Mathematics as a tool in the future.  I will choose a major closely related to Mathematics, and make contributions to the development of key fields in the country.

Q7: How did your learning experience in No.2 High School of East China Normal University help you?

The learning environment of No.2 High School of East China Normal University is relaxing and orderly, and each student can get personalized development. The competition training mechanism in the school is of high-quality and efficiency.  I made great progress with the guidance of my coach Mr. Tang and other competition coaches.

▲ The 62nd IMO Chinese National Team (WANG Yichuan, second from the left)

TANG Lihua

Supreme-level Mathematics teacher
Senior high school teacher of senior level
Senior-level coach of the Chinese Mathematical Olympiad
Five of the students coached by him in recent years have won IMO gold medals.
More than 20 have been selected for the national training team.
More than 100 have won the first prize of the National High School Mathematics League.

Q1: Can you introduce about the basic situation of this competition? How difficult are the questions?

There are 6 major questions in this year’s competition, with 7 points for each question and a full score of 42 points. The competition is carried out in two days with 4.5 hours per day.  The first three questions shall be completed on the first day and the next three questions shall be completed on the second day.

The 6 questions this year involve number theory, algebra, geometry, geometry, combination and algebra. The questions are said to be the most difficult of all sessions, and the minimum passing score of gold medal is 24 points, which is also the lowest of all sessions.

It’s not easy for Wang Yichuan to get full score, and the only one gold medal with full score is of extreme value!

Q2: What kind of child is Wang Yichuan in your eyes?

Let me tell you a story.  He was awarded Best Graduate of the school this year, and he was supposed to receive the award at graduation ceremony.  That same morning, there happened to be a Mathematics competition training.  I encouraged him to go and receive the award, which would take him just 10 minutes. He “complained” to me that I delayed his training when he came. I think Wang Yichuan is a straightforward and self-disciplined child.

In addition, he has a very good attitude.  He is not selfish at all and is willing to help others and share his learning experience. Last year, he was exempted from the National League examination, but he still actively helped other students prepare for the competition and helped the teacher work out simulation questions and observe the examination. He was able to get excellent results this time, which I think was because good people like him deserve good luck.

Q3: How did Wang Yichuan succeed?

Wang Yichuan’s competition result was not the most outstanding when he just entered No.2 High School of East China Normal University.  Three students participated in the winter camp in the first year of senior high school, and he was not one of them.

However, he faced his problems bravely.  He set up detailed learning plans and followed them strictly.  He took every training seriously, arrived at the classroom early and was strict with himself following the actual examination requirements. He hardly played video games and rarely stayed up late.  He was highly efficient in learning and steadily he improved his academic performance.

In 2019, the second year of senior high school, I realized that his concentration and persistence in Mathematics resulted in great transformation and rapid progress. That year, he was selected into the national training team, ranking eighth in the country.

During the pandemic in 2020, Wang Yichuan trained himself with ‘door closed’ for three months.  He asked me to give him questions to answer every day, and my speed of giving questions could not catch up with his speed of answering questions.  During that time, his question-solving ability turned from quantitative to qualitative, which was significantly higher than that of other contestants in the same year. However, the selection of the national team was canceled due to the impact of the pandemic.  The top six members of the training team participated in IMO on behalf of China, and he missed the gold medal.

Wang Yichuan was qualified for admissions into university when he was in grade 11, but he chose to stay and continue to participate in the competitions for the honor of the school and also to prove his Mathematical ability, which was of great value, and his efforts finally gained the best return.

Q4: Was it expected that Wang Yichuan would get full score?

It was totally expected.  His ability was the strongest among the contestants of this session, and he was selected into the 62nd IMO national team, ranking No.1 in the country.

I didn’t give him much pressure before competition.  My requirement for him was to get high score and gold medal, and to strive for full score with five questions, although I think he is fully capable of getting full score with all six questions. The final result also proved his strength.

Q5: How is the Mathematical Olympiad training in No.2 High School of East China Normal University carried out?

The training system of No.2 High School of East China Normal University lies in the head coach taking full responsibility, that is, he teaches students for three years, fully exploring their potentials and help them improve their strength.

For example, I gave both regular lessons and competition lessons to students in the same grade as Wang Yichuan. When it comes to training stages of league, winter camp and intensive training team, the Olympic coaching team of the school will conduct overall training for students, with targeted training at each stage. This model has been running for many years in the school and achieved good results.

▲ Wang Yichuan and his coach Tang Lihua (first from the right) and his teacher Liu Chuxi (first from the left)

The school hereby would like to extend warm congratulations again to Wang Yichuan and his coaches!

The 62nd International Mathematics Olympics was held by Russia. Impacted by the pandemic, this competition was conducted through online organization and regional examinations. The Chinese competition was organized by the school of Mathematics of Peking University and Beijing International Mathematics Research Center. All members and coaches of the national team participated in IMO competition activities at Peking University from July 13 to July 25, 2021.

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