Three UAE mathematics whiz-kids returned home victorious this week, after beating 5,500 students from 41 countries to become world champions at the 17th International Abacus and Mental Arithmetic Competition, held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Aditya Gaurav Verma and Gayathri Girish, both 13, and six-year-old Karim Al Nourof, all residents of Sharjah, beat more than 100 children in their respective categories to claim their titles, demonstrating that their speed and skill in mental arithmetic was world class.
Earlier, having proved their arithmetic skills in the UAE's Eighth Annual National Abacus and Mental Arithmetic Competition held in October, 66 UAE schoolchildren travelled to Kuala Lampur to represent the nation and compete against their peers from around the world.
Testing mental powers
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Organised by the Universal Concept of Mental Arithmetic System (UCMAS), the annual event challenged students from five to 12 years of age to solve 200 sums within eight short minutes, using either the abacus or their powers of mental arithmetic alone, depending on age and competition-category.
A UAE team participated in the event's newly introduced "Listening Skill Competition", with two children reaching the final round of the championship and 61 other participating UAE students securing runner-up positions.
Soundari Raj, managing director, UCMAS UAE and Oman, said: "We are extremely proud of our three world champions and of all our students for competing in the prestigious event and making the UAE proud.
"All 66 children went through rigorous training and exams to first compete at the national level and then represent the country at the global competition. The best part about our programme is that our children enjoy the challenge and training."