The Israeli team returns home with a gold medal, two silvers and a bronze. The gold medal was won by Daniel Hadas, 18-and-a-half-years-old, of Ayalon High School in Holon; Tom Kalvaria, 17, of Kfar Hayarok High School in Ramat Hasharon and Ohad Klein, 17, from Amit Yeshiva in Kfar Ganim won silver medals; and Ron Ryvchin, 18, from the Samaria ORT school in Binyamina, won a bronze medal.
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The contest ends tonight, after four days of competition in which the Israeli delegation reached an 8th place ranking out of 80 countries. This is a jump of nine places in its world ranking in comparison to 2012. In 2011, Israel was ranked 19th, and in 2010 it finished at 23rd. This year’s is the highest ranking for Israel's national team since it began to participate in international competition. The top three finishing teams in the competition were from China, Russia and Korea.
"It is a great feeling," said gold medal winner Hadas. "I cannot say I expected a gold medal, I was lucky and I'm very happy with the achievement." His silver medal winning teammate Kalvaria added, "We worked very hard in preparing for this competition. On the first day it seemed for a moment that we would not succeed, but on the second day we took ourselves in hand, we struggled and managed to get to a very respectable place."
Israeli team to 2013 computer olympiad (Photo: Lief Sharki)
Oren Becker, one of the team coaches also noted that on the first day the team’s chances of success were not looking particularly good. "Fortunately, on the second day, the students fought hard, and despite the difficulties they overcame them, and reached a nice achievement, dignified and very impressive."
Ofer Rimon, head of Science and Technology in the Education Ministry, added that in the last few years, emphasis has been placed identifying students and training them for competition.
Piron, Netanyahu and winning team (Photo: Kobi Gideon/GPO)
“Within the framework of the computer science olympiad, the students are presented with problems in the field and are asked to find a solution," explains Rimon.
"They are measured based on the method of thinking they present, the manner in which they build the solution and reach it, and all this within a limited timeframe. In this situation, one of the difficulties is working under time pressure,” he says.
“We must understand that the larger the country, the more it has a comparative advantage. For small countries it is very difficult to succeed and the fact that Israel ranks among the first ten countries is a very serious achievement.”
Education Minister Rabbi Shai Piron congratulated the winners and said, "This is an impressive and exciting accomplishment, this is great proof in the ability of the children of Israel.
"There is no doubt that because of our talents in computer sciences, Israel will continue in the future to lead the world in the quality of scientific research, entrepreneurship and innovation."