Shropshire Rubik's Cube whizz James gets personal best at top level competition – and he's only 11

A Shawbury super cuber has returned from a national competition with a new personal best.

James with champion cuber Max Park
James with champion cuber Max Park

James Ireland took on some of the world's top competitors in the UK Cubing Championships held at the Coventry Building Society arena.

The 11-year-old shaved off nearly ten seconds from his personal best in the classic 3x3 event, completing the puzzle in 15.4 seconds.

His previous best was 25 seconds - sadly his effort meant he missed out on a place in the semi final by just two seconds.

But considering the youngster – who attends St Mary's Primary School in Shawbury – only picked up a Rubik's Cube from a store less than a year ago and was competing against around 500 other people from the UK, Europe and North America, his mother Heather said they were delighted with his result.

In an exhausting day on Saturday, James also finished just over one second outside the qualifiers in the 2x2 event which he completed in 4.55 seconds and also took part in the,the Skewb and Pyraminx, scoring a personal best of 10.83 in the latter.

Heather said: "It was three days of full on action and events but we had a lot of disruption coming up to it with car problems earlier in the week so decided James would just go on the on the Saturday, he has to be back to school on Monday anyway. "It was a real eye opener with the likes of Max Park who has set multiple world records and Felix Zemdegs taking part - they have both been featured on the Netflix documentary The Speed Cubers and it was great for James to meet them and have pictures taken.

"The highlight of the day for James was his new higher 3x3 ranking, his first ever scores for the pyraminx and skewb and getting to have a sit down with Max who was incredibly friendly and helpful."

Previously James competed in a competition in Cheltenham where he set his first cubing record and at Droitwich last month he completed the 2 x 2 in just 2.61 seconds,

Speed cubing has become increasingly popular since the first world championship in 1982 and is regulated by the World Cube Association which recognises 17 specialities from 2x2 to 7x7 and the Rubik's Clock as well as blindfolded categories.

Heather said: "This was a definite learning curve moment and he excelled in only his third competition - James is thankful for all the support given him and will continue to practise super hard towards his next event and the UK championships next year."

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