There are over 80 countries competing at this year’s IOI but there are only a few that are likely to do well.
Among the countries expected to take home several gold medals are China, Russia and the United States of America.
The deputy team leader for the Netherlands, Ries Kock, has had over 10 years experience preparing students from his country for the IOI.
Mr Kock says China, The United States and eastern European countries will usually perform well at International Olympiads in Informatics.
“To give you an idea you need three things: you have to be very good; you have to have a lot of training and last but not least you need to be a little bit lucky – and that last thing is hard to predict,” Mr Kock said.
Pieter Waker has been South Africa’s team leader for over 10 years and he thinks this year’s practice problems have been more difficult than ever before.
“So if that’s an indication we’re not going to see 600 points this year. But we don’t know if that’s an indication. What I can predict is that the countries that are strong in mathematics and countries that are strong in chess will be able to get into the gold and silver,” Mr Waker said.
This year celebrates the 25th year of competition for the International Olympiad in Informatics and not many people are willing to say whom they think will win competition.
Last year’s winner Johnny Ho from the USA is returning for his third IOI and he thinks someone else might challenge his first place hopes.
“This year, I’m kind of a bit nervous; even Scott (another member of the USA team) beat me in the United States qualifying,” he said.
China, USA and Russia are expected to do well but anyone could surprise you. Perhaps someone from the host nation, Australia, could win the competition or even a contestant from first time IOI participant Tunisia.
It is difficult to predict who will win the overall competition but there are a lot of bright young minds competing for gold.
Ries Kock & Pieter Waker at the welcome reception