A Valencian student from Estalmat, the youngest to win the national phase of the Mathematical Olympics

Rafael Crespo i Leonardo Costa
Rafael Crespo i Leonardo Costa

Leonardo Costa, from Santa Cruz de Mislata School, has become the youngest person to conquer first place in a national phase of the Spanish Mathematical Olympics (OME).

The high school Olimpics, organized by the Real Sociedad Matemática Española (Royal Spanish Mathematical Society), are aimed at high school students, although exceptionally they invite students from the final years of secondary school.  The selection begins with university districts (local phase) and then moves on to the national phase.  In the Valencian C the team consists of 6 people. This year it was formed by Ferran Cortes (Altea), Leonardo Costa (Mislata), Abel Doñate (Elda), Javier Nistal (Alcante), Héctor Sanchis (Valencia) and Roberto Vergara (Castellón).

The national phase was held this weekend in Ourense and it has distributed six gold medals, twelve silver and eighteen bronze among the 78 people selected from all over Spain.  The Valencian representatives obtained one gold, Leonardo Costa; and two silver ones, Javier Nistal and Héctor Sanchis.  The people who have won the gold make up the team that will represent Spain in the International Mathematical Olimpics (IMO 2019) to be held in Bath (United Kingdom) in July.

Leonardo Costa, a fourth-year ESO student, is the youngest person to achieve absolute first place (first gold) in a Mathematical Olimpics.  It should be highlighted that two years ago, another Valencian, Rafah Hajjar Muñoz (Casinos, 1999), won the gold in the 2017 Mathematical Olympics, thus becoming the first Valencian to win that award in this century.

Both, together with Nistal, Cortés and Doñate have been formed in the project Estalmat de Estímulo del Talento Matemático of the Universitat de València, where they began when they were 12 years old. The project has been directed for thirteen years by Rafael Crespo, former dean and professor of the Faculty of Mathematical Sciences at the University. 300 people have already passed through Estalmat; this year, the thirteenth class will be selected during the month of May.

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