Zagreb, Croatia. Indonesia won four gold medals and one silver medal at the 41st International Physics Olympiad in Zagreb, Croatia, over the weekend. The olympiad is an annual physics competition for secondary school students.

The Indonesian Physics Olympiad Team (TOFI) consisted of Christian George Emor from North Sulawesi, David Giovanni from Tangerang, Banten, Kevin Soedyatmiko from Jakarta, Muhammad Sohibul Maromi from East Java, and Ahmad Ataka Awwalur Rizqi from Yogyakarta.

The team leader, Hendra Kwee, told online news portal kompas.com that this year’s achievement was much better compared to the results from last year’s competition in Merida, Mexico.

“Last year, Indonesia won one gold, three silver and one bronze,” Hendra said.

This year, 376 students from 82 countries joined the olympiad. The number of participating countries was up from last year’s 70.

According to Hendra, the Indonesian team started to train intensively eight months before the competition.

Yohanes Surya, the team’s adviser, said that the achievement earned Indonesian students international respect.

TOFI had its beginnings at the US College of William and Mary in Virginia in 1992. Yohanes Surya and Agus Ananda, who were both physics graduate students at the college, took the initiative to invite a team from Indonesia to participate in the 24th International Physics Olympiad, which was hosted at the college in 1993.

In Indonesia, about 75 students took part in the qualifying examination to select candidates for the olympiad. Most of the students were from Java. The five best students were invited to Virginia for two months of intensive training and to familiarize themselves with the academic environment in the United States.

Two Indonesian students stood out among the two hundred top students from 41 countries taking part in the 1993 olympiad. Oki Gunawan received a bronze medal and Jemmy Widjaja received an honorable mention. The year’s winner was Russia, with three gold medals and two silver medals.