The 30th International Olympiad in Informatics was held Sept. 1-8 in Tsukuba, Japan. In the overall team ranking, Russia shared place No. 4-5 with Belarus, up from last year’s place No. 7-9. The Russian contestants earned two gold and two silver medals, compared with one gold and three silvers in 2017. China placed first, followed by South Korea and the United States. The individual ranking was topped by Benjamin Qi from the U.S.
The competition featured four Russian students. Ramazan Rakhmatullin, who graduated from the Lobachevsky Lyceum at Kazan Federal University, and Vladimir Romanov, 11th-grade student of the Kolmogorov School at Lomonosov Moscow State University, both took gold. Rakhmatullin placed 11th in the individual ranking, while Romanov came in at No. 20-21.
Rakhmatullin, who was on the national IOI team for the first time, told us about preparing for the competition: “I applied to join the Russian team several times, I think four, which is more than others. This year I devoted more time to preparing for the contest. In the previous years, I spent around 4-5 hours per day for a week or two, but this time I didn’t stop until I solved the problem, beginning a month before IOI. I really wanted to win, but being on the national team was my main objective, actually. It’s important to achieve such short-term goals. So I was very happy when I joined the team.”
Romanov, who also competed at IOI 2017, commented on earning his second gold: “I’m glad to have won the medal, but I was aiming higher in the ranking. I had a bad start on the first day of the contest: In fact, I had the fewest points on the team. So the second day was decisive, I had to score high to receive the medal.”
Mikhail Anoprenko, a graduate of the Presidential Lyceum 239 in St. Petersburg, came in at No. 33-36 and was awarded a silver medal. The youngest contestant representing Russia, 9th-grader Egor Lifar from Intellectual, a Moscow-based boarding school, finished at No. 60-64, also winning silver.
In 2018, the boot camp held ahead of IOI to prepare the Russian team was for the first time hosted by the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology. Another programming boot camp — Moscow Workshops Juniors, May 10-23 — was also held at MIPT. Besides the Russian team members, it prepared all members of the teams of Belarus and Kazakhstan, as well as one Greek contestant. The head coaches of the Russian IOI 2018 team are Mikhail Tikhomirov and Andrey Stankevich.
Deputy team leader Alexey Maleev supported the students on the site of the competition in Japan. He said: “These are the best school children nationwide. Before they got into the team, they went through five rounds of selection. They trained hard and spent a lot of time. The team was assisted by professors in coding clubs, summer and winter schools. Among them, Vladimir Kiryukhin deserves a separate mention. After leading the team for years on end, he has only recently vested this responsibility on the next generation of coaches. They all greatly appreciate and respect his legacy.”
Maleev, who is vice rector for international programs and technological entrepreneurship at MIPT, added that this year’s IOI has been yet another chance claimed by the young Russian programmers to prove their worth: “It is no secret that Russia has been overwhelmingly successful at the International Collegiate Programming Contests. Today’s school students will soon grow to be professionals of the highest class, and the MIPT’s tuition in programming seeks to ensure their success by matching their talent.