Israel's team for the European Girls Mathematical Olympiad (EGMO) won two medals in this year's competition, which was held remotely on Friday.
Ninth-grader Noga Friedman of Rehovot's De Shalit Middle School won a gold medal and Ya'ara Shulman, a tenth-grader who studies at Herzliya's Rishonim High School, won a silver medal.
They were joined on the team by Nicole Grossman, a senior from Ehad Ha'am High School in Petah Tikva and Tamar Pe'er, another tenth-grader who studies alongside Shulman at Rishonim in Herzliya.
The competition drew 213 competitors from 54 countries around the globe, out of which the Israeli team placed an impressive ninth overall, with the team from Georgia taking first place.
The competition was held over two exam days, each of which involved the students being required to solve a 4.5-hour test, which consisted of 3 high-difficulty questions in the areas of elementary mathematics: algebra, combinatorics, geometry and number theory.
The delegation was trained at the Weizmann Institute of Science by a team of coaches headed by the chairman of the mathematics team, Prof. Avraham Eisenbud, and the head coach, Lev Radziwillowski. The students were accompanied by the head of the delegation, Dr. Dan Carmon, and the deputy head of the delegation, Dr. Miriam Farber.
Dr. Carmon said in a statement that “The competition this year was tough, but the students put all their energy into dealing with the questions during all nine hours of the exams."
He congratulated the delegation, saying he was very proud of them for their achievements and wishing them many more successes in the future.
"After a year of virtual training, we were very happy that we had the opportunity to hold the physical competition at the Weizmann Institute, and also to spend time with each other, and I thank all those involved in organizing the event."
Education Minister Yoav Gallant said after the announcement that "towards the end of Independence Day, we were informed of an achievement that is another reason to rejoice in the national holiday.
"The medals awarded to Noga and Yaara are a source of great pride for the entire State of Israel, and the result of prolonged effort, accompaniment and preparation that have yielded great achievements," Gallant added.
The EGMO has been held since 2012, with this being Israel's sixth's year participating (starting in 2016).