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With just one correct answer out of 43 quintillion possible combinations, it is not surprising that most people spend days, if not months, trying to solve the Rubik's Cube. However, don't tell that to speedcuber extraordinaire Atharva R Bhat. The eight-year-old from Bangalore, India, just established a new Guinness World Record (GWR ) by solving three of the 3x3 rotating puzzles simultaneously in an astonishing one minute and 29.97 seconds.
Prior to this, the record was held by Chinese teenager Jianyu Que, who completed the same feat in one minute and 36.39 seconds in 2018, or six seconds longer than it took Atharva.
Atharva, who has always loved puzzles, became inspired to take up speedcubing in 2017 after meeting Krishnam Raju Gadiraju, a multiple speedcubing GRW holder at the World Cube Association (WCA) competition in Bangalore. "My dream to be like him started there," he says.
The young boy began training in earnest in early 2020 after his school went online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to spending a copious number of hours solving the 3x3 cubes, he also spent time meditating and visualizing the GWR attempt and winning the title. Atharva says, "The training was never difficult because I enjoyed solving the puzzles with both hands and feet. I believe loving what you do makes training or working towards achieving your goals easier. My parents were always supportive. My sister and grandparents would cheer me at my practice, and I enjoyed."
The eight-year-old, whose record was validated by GWR officials on March 15, 2021, hopes his achievement will inspire other kids to take up cubing. Atharva, meanwhile, is already working toward reaching his next goal — completing the three-cube challenge in less than a minute. He also plans on pursuing other speedcubing GWR titles.