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Taiwan teenagers score 3 golds, 1 silver during Int'l Biology Olympiad

SINGAPORE--Four Taiwanese teenagers grabbed three gold medals and one silver at the International Biology Olympiad in Singapore on Saturday, the second-best performance by a country in the event this year.

Taiwan's Lu Ming-hsuan, Wang Yuan and Cheng Ching-pin were among the 10 percent of 236 contestants from 59 countries who were awarded gold medals during the annual event held in Singapore from July 8-15.

Wang, who has recently been accepted to National Taiwan University's (NTU's) Department of Electrical Engineering, said she spent two years preparing for the competition, which has been a driving force behind her studies.

Wang hopes to use the knowledge of electrical engineering she will learn at the university to further her studies of the life sciences.

Meanwhile, Cheng, a student from Taipei Municipal Jianguo High School, said he was surprised to receive a gold medal because he thought the experimental part of the examination was somewhat challenging.

Chan Chun-hsiang, who is also from Taiwan and was recently accepted to NTU's Department of Life Science, received a silver medal, which was awarded to some 20 percent of the contestants.

Chan and Lu, who are going to study in NTU's School of Medicine, both said it was a good experience to compete at an international event.

Each country is allowed to send a maximum of four secondary school students who are winners of their country's national Biology Olympiad, according to organizers.

Singapore and the United States were the top performing countries at the event, with each of their four contestants winning gold medals. Taiwan, China and South Korea followed with three gold and one silver medals.

The individual contestant with the highest score was from Singapore, while two American students took second and third place in the competition.

Taiwan hosted last year's competition, where it won four gold metals. Next year's event will be held in Bern, Switzerland.

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