Here, I want to write about my experience from the time spent on international physics olympiad competitions. For those of you who don't know, olympiad competitions are science contests for high school students usually held every year. The International Science Olympiads (ISOs) are the most popular among them. The International Physics Olympiad (IPhO) is the second-oldest ISO after the IMO; students are typically selected from their national Olympiads to represent their country. That's how I got the chance to represent Sri Lanka. First I participated in the Asian Physics Olympiad (APhO) held in Singapore, where I secured Sri Lanka's first Asian physics Silver medal (the APhO is considered much tougher than the IPhO). Then I won silver again at the IPhO in Kazakhstan—my theoretical score was at a really high percentile, but I scored something like 6/20 for the experimental part resulting in my missing the gold by 0.9 points. I was in agony, but nevertheless happy about my overall effort.
Sri Lanka first participated in the IPhO in 2005. The Sri Lankan Physics Olympiad mission has been led by Dr. S. R. D. Rosa from the beginning, and he still continues on today, although he does not travel with the team now. The IPhO team is selected considering the top 5 performers at the APhO.
Sri Lanka’s performance at the IPhO has been the most successful at any of the ISO’s Sri Lanka participates in. With 2 Silver Medals, 13 Bronze Medals and 6 Honorable Mentions, this claim is well justified. The situation at the APhO has been much less impressive, with only 1 Silver, 1 Bronze and 7 Honourable Mentions to show.
Click below to get a detailed look at Sri Lanka's performance in IPhO's.