Few people know that in the Malaysian National Math Olympiad (OMK 2002), for the highest individual ‘Sulong’ category, two individuals only (in the whole country) scored “full marks” (perfect scores for each question).
However, one was given the No.1 place while the other had to take the No.2 position because they “cannot” have two No.1’s (PERSAMA’s policy?).
The criteria to determine who took the first prize?
Between the two, one had a better way of solving it than the other though both solved all problems (‘solving it in a better way’ is a decision based on “subjectivity” – because it depends on a person’s preference to a particular method).
Source: Who told me this?
Prof. Abu Osman himself personally conveyed this ‘unfortunate’ decision to me back then.
How would I have handled it?
Two No.1 prizes and “no” second place standing for that year would’ve been more “truthful” and “fair”.
A long forgotten story.
Ask yourself, if you were the one who was given the 2nd place position based on “subjectivity” like that, would you have agreed with such a decision? I guess not.