Pham Thi Ngoc Oanh of Hai Phong beat three male contestants to win the Road to the Peak of Olympia, the national quiz show for high-school students.
Race to the finish: Pham Thi Ngoc Oanh of Hai Phong (centre) dominated the competition to win the Road to the Peak of Olympia. — VNS Photo
HA NOI —
In a show that was broadcast live on Viet Nam Television on Sunday, the Tien Lang High School student raced into an early lead and never relinquished it.
She beat Vu Bach Nhat of Quang Ninh Province, Thai Ngoc Huy of Thua Thien-Hue Province, and Le Bao Loc of Ninh Thuan Province in a close and thrilling contest to win a scholarship worth US$35,000 to study abroad.
She did very well in the first two rounds, Warm Up and Speed Up, to establish a huge lead.
She maintained it through the Passing Hurdle and Arrival rounds though Huy closed in and at times even threatened to overtake her.
But he and Loc seemed to become nervous in the last round and lost points while Oanh got two out of four questions right to score 10 points to ensure her victory.
On the way to becoming one of the four finalists, she had triumphed in the weekly, monthly and quarterly shows.
This is the first time a student from the port city is winning the prestigious contest which is now in its 11th year.
Oanh, whose father is a physician and mother a primary-school teacher, said her parents' encouragement and education laid the foundation for her victory.
"They told me to try my best and do not care about the rest," she said, explaining why she was quite relaxed and confident during the show.
"They never pressured me," she said, adding her parents and even younger sister had joined her to prepare for the quiz, coming up with materials and knowledge.
"I am not really an outstanding student. I just stay focused during lessons, read some materials at home, and do all my home work."
Oanh said that her immediate plan was to improve her English in preparation for studying abroad.
Her mother Pham Thi Tinh said the media provided her daughter with a lot of social information given that the family lived in a poor and remote district in the city.
The annual quiz show, organised by Viet Nam Television, pits four students selected from across the country against each other every Sunday.
Weekly winners compete with each other in the monthlies and then in the quarterlies to reach the final.
The contestants are asked questions on a gamut of topics, including history, literature, geography, math, physics, logic, chemistry, and English. — VNS