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José Javier Quintana, gold medallist in the National Biology Olympiad

The young Navarrese also won first place in the regional phase held last February at the Schoolde Ciencias.

/José Javier Quintana

06 | 04 | 2022

José Javier Quintana, second year student of high school diplomaof IES Sancho III El Mayor de Tafalla, has won the gold medal in the national phase of the XVII Biology Olympiad 2022, held at the University of Oviedo last weekend.

"This recognition is a great thrill because I have always been a young man from a humble background and to have won the biology olympiad at the national level gives me a lot of satisfaction, pride and confidence.

The testbrought together 59 students from all over Spain -those with the best results in the different regional phases- and serves to qualify them for the international and Ibero-American phases. The first, which this year will take place in Yerevan (Armenia) from 10 to 17 July 2022, will be attended by the first four gold medalists. Quintana will be accompanied by Andalusian Daniel Bulnes Roldán (IES Al-Baytar), Pablo Gómez García (IES Ramón Olleros Gregorio) and Catalan Vittorio Scarani (Institut Jaume Vicens Vives).

Quintana admits that he prepared thoroughly for the regional testand that for the national one he had the support of the Biology teacher at high school, Roberto Fernández, and Mariano Larraz, who for years has been a lecturer at the University's ScienceSchool and has advised the Navarrese representatives at the national trials. "For the International, what I will do will be to practise at home with what materials I can from laboratory, read the book recommended for the International several times and above all go with a safety mentality and have a good time".

Regarding his university future, he says he hopes to do Biochemistry and in the long term deadlinededicate himself to research. "I want to do Biochemistry (oriented towards biomedicine) at the University of Navarra, do a master's degree and doctorateand from there dedicate myself fully to research. My interest is more in microbiology and neurology, but I am passionate about all the knowledge that encompasses the natural sciences".

Good experience for the representatives from Navarre

Alejandro Monroy Ostívar, studentfrom IES Ribera del Arga in Peralta, came second in the regional phase and has also taken part in the national phase test. For Monroy the experience in the national phase has been enriching, "an opportunity to enjoy, have fun, meet people with the same concerns as us and learn with and from them". Alejandra Domínguez Calonge, student of IES Basoko and fourth classified of Navarra, also participated in Oviedo. Alejandra highlights the good atmosphere and the camaraderie: "It was an incredible experience and the practices were very entertaining. There was a great spirit of fellowship and we have met many unique people. It was a real highlight that they offered us CSIC stays to continue our training".