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July 21, 2021

First in North America + Second in the World! (First WCA Competition in 17 Months)

On Saturday, July 17, 2021, I competed in Idaho Summer B 2021, my first cubing competition since February 2020 (the COVID-19 pandemic prevented me from going to any competitions for almost seventeen months). I was extremely excited and glad to finally be able to return to competing, despite the various COVID protocols/restrictions in place during the event.

In the weeks leading up to this competition, I practiced a lot. Every day, I practiced by simulating the competition environment as closely as possible; for example, I wore a mask while solving. Since it had been a year and a half since I last competed, I came into the Idaho Falls competition without high expectations, but an optimistic mindset nevertheless.

I managed to completely kill it at this competition, where I most notably broke the North American Record for Square-1 average of 5! An average of 5 in cubing is calculated by doing 5 solves, throwing out the fastest and slowest times, and taking the mean of the remaining three. I ended up getting an average of 6.37 seconds. This is also the first sub-7 and sub-6.5 second Square-1 average done by someone in North America!

The video of my record! My reaction was pretty crazy! I was also pleasantly surprised to see that the video hit 1,000 views overnight!
CR stands for Continental Record (i.e. first in North America)
The highlighted text signifies that my 6.37 Square-1 average places me 2nd for world ranking (#2WR), 1st for continental ranking (#1CR), and 1st for national ranking (#1NR)!
I now have a “Record Collection” section on my WCA Profile, something that won’t go away even after my record is broken!
Just 0.03 off of the world record!
The previous North American Record (NAR) was 7.10, and I managed to lower it by 0.73 seconds!
The scorecard with all my times. I find it really cool that the worst time in this average (6.87) was still faster than the previous NAR average (7.10). This is also the first “purely” sub-7 Square-1 average ever!

Other Achievements:

I’m now first in the USA for “sum of ranks,” a statistic designed to measure how good a cuber is overall/all around. One would have a better sum of ranks if they’re highly ranked in multiple events instead of just one or two.
After this competition, I now have a total of 100 gold medals (1st place) and 100 silver medals (2nd place)!
My name is now on Wikipedia as of July 2021!

Other Links:

An Instagram post by YJ, the manufacturer of the cube I used at the competition. They decided to do a giveaway of the same cube model because of my record!

A SpeedSolving Forums thread about my North American Record

The product page of the cube I used to set the record

All of my results from Idaho Summer B 2021

Conclusion:

Overall, I’m extremely satisfied, fulfilled, and proud of how I did at my first post-quarantine competition. Breaking the North American Record was, to me, a prime example of working hard towards a goal, as well as seeing drive and determination pay off. I’d like to thank my sponsor, TheCubicle, for supporting me in my cubing journey and constantly providing me with the newest and best cubes. But thank you, most of all, to all my friends and family who continue to root me on and motivate me to improve every single day. Here’s to many more successes in the future!

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