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Oscar's Need for Speed

Oscar Wang (Year 10) is one of the elites in the mind-bending sport of speedcubing.

What is speedcubing, you ask? 

Well, during competitions, speedcubers must solve at least one combination puzzle such as a Rubik’s cube (or variant) in the fastest possible time. 

Competitors are given a moment to assess the cube and then must place both hands on a time tracker pad before the clock starts. 

Then they must solve the puzzle and place both hands back on the pad when done. 

On a standard 3x3x3 Rubik’s cube, this process usually only takes Oscar about seven seconds – 3.5 seconds shy of the world record.

Oscar discovered the sport five years ago when he came across a group of speedcubers performing at a shopping mall in China. 

“I saw the cube performance in the mall and there was also a free class with it. I tried this and I loved it, and have been doing it since,” he says.

“For my first competition I was a rookie in my hometown, so in the first year I started the cube it took me about two minutes.”

Not only has Oscar since whittled this time down to single digit seconds on the 3x3x3 cube, he has also mastered the incredibly difficult art of the single-handed solve.

His fastest recorded 8.53-second solve in the One-Handed 3x3x3 event is currently the 7th best time in China and the 57th best in the world.

For maintaining an incredible 10.31-second average time, he is now ranked 3rd in China and 17th in the world in One-Handed 3x3x3.

Over the course of his professional cubing career, Oscar has participated in 42 competitions and has amassed a total of 29 gold, 31 silver and 19 bronze medals across different events.

At the Brisbane’s 20 in 21 competition this year, Oscar achieved a new personal best time in the 3x3x3 event at 6.03 seconds and took out first place in the 3x3x3, 4x4x4 and 5x5x5 events. 

He says he has learned a lot from participating in Australian competitions.

“The first time I went to Australia was for the World Cube Championships where at the time I saw a lot of crazy guys solve the standard cube in about five or six seconds, and the 2x2x2 within one second,” says Oscar. 

“I learned a lot of new skills from them, and in a cube competition you might be nervous the first time, but you can practise becoming less nervous through experience.”

Oscar encourages everyone to try cubing and reassures punters that a simple solve is not as hard as it looks. 

“If you only want to solve the cube, it might take you a while to get used to it, but you only really have to know three algorithms, it’s not so hard,” he says.