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5.2 seconds of magic as Park seals double Rubik’s Cube title win in Moscow

American Max Park continued his meteoric rise by taking out favourite Feliks Zemdegs on his way to two titles at the second edition of the Red Bull Rubik’s Cube World Cup Final on November 17.

Competing for their share of US$30,000 as well as the World Cup trophies, 25 competitors from 11 nations made up the stacked field of elite speedcubing players at the Red Bull Rubik’s Cube World Cup.

Australian Feliks Zemdegs came into the Russian showpiece event with a good chance of taking home a trophy on the back of his 120 speedcubing world records, but Max Park was the player to beat as he ushered in the new generation of speedcubers with sublime performances in the 3×3 and Fastest Hand categories.Park, who’s still only 17, first beat friend Zemdegs for the Fastest Hand trophy, then in the 3×3 quarter-finals, before edging a semi-final thriller against American Patrick Ponce to meet German Philipp Weyer in the 3×3 final. Fellow competitors and fans in the crowd watched on in awe as Park sealed victory over Weyer with a brilliant final time of 5.2 seconds to claim his second trophy.

The cube can teach people how to see through problems and draw on inspiration to solve them – to me, that’s the most important thing about this tournament Erno Rubik, inventor of the Rubik’s CubePark’s father Schwan revealed that his son’s talent has helped him to meet life head-on, as his autism often makes socialising, conversations and crowds difficult. “This competition was a huge step forward for Max. Typically, Max competes at local competitions in the US, and so the fact he got to come to Moscow for this – and not just experience everything but actually do well – was great.”

France’s Juliette Sébastien fought back from an early deficit to secure an impressive win over defending champion Dana Yi of the USA in the women’s 3×3 event. Meanwhile, German Ricky Meiler defended his Re-Scramble title – where competitors match random scrambles head-to-head – by hitting back against hometown favourite Dmitry Aniskin.“The cube can teach people how to see through problems and draw on inspiration to solve them,” said Rubik’s Cube inventor Professor Erno Rubik, who travelled from his home in Budapest, Hungary to watch. “To me, that’s the most important thing about this tournament.”

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