Our plaudits are usually reserved for cricket, tennis or even pizza making world champions, but now Australia has two more unique masters who’ve conquered the planet in their craft.
Feliks Zemdegs and Seyoon Ragavan have both triumphed at the World Rubik’s Cube Championships and International Mathematics Olympiad’s respectively.
Believe it or nor, they’re both teenagers.
Zemdegs, 19, completed the traditional 3x3x3 Rubik’s Cube with a staggering average of 7.56 seconds and best score of 5.69 seconds, narrowly missing the world record of 5.25 seconds held by American Collin Burns.
“The competition was really, really awesome, well run, the venue was really nice, all the people were really nice,” Zemdegs said.
“The win was also really nice as well. Because I won last time, I was less nervous this time… so that helped a bit.”
There are a total of 17 different Rubik’s Cube competitions at the biennial event and players are timed to see who can complete the puzzle the fastest.
The first Rubik’s Cube World Championship was held in Budapest in 1982 and the competition is now held every two years, with this year’s instalment being the eighth official event.
Watch Zemdegs’ winning cube completion below
Maths World Championship ‘gold’ at 16
Ragavan told Fairfax that he prepared for the International Mathematics Olympiad (IMO) for almost one year. He’s won two bronze medals at the IMO in the past, but this time left with gold.
“I’d spent a fair bit of time over the day before to get my mind into the position where I’m not thinking about the competition, and other competitors,” he said.
“The highlight of the trip would have to be the result. It was that moment when the results came out and everyone on the team was really, really overwhelmed.
“We were over the moon. Our leader, our deputies, everyone was absolutely thrilled.”
The IMO was held last week in Thailand with almost 600 competitors from 104 nations competing.
The IMO is the world’s premier competition for student mathematicians.
Ragavan finished 19th out of the nearly 600 students he faced in the exam – giving him a gold for being in the top eight per cent of competitors.
If you fancy a crack, you can have a go at the problems from IMO here.
– with ABC