Japan’s winning streak in the academics arena continues; first it was a Nobel Prize in medicine for Shinya Yamanaka and now it is the coveted Mental Calculation World Cup. Abacus teacher Naofumi Ogasawara won the top prize and set a record too. Mental Calculation World Cup is an arithmetic championship held once every two years.
Considered the Olympics of mental arithmetic, this year’s event was hosted by Germany in the city of Gießen. Participants compete in categories like addition, multiplication, square roots and others. Twenty-two year old Naofumi Ogasawara bagged the overall winner prize. He even broke the additions record! In this category, participants are required to solve sums of 10 10-digit numbers each.
Ogasawara took only three minutes and 11 seconds to solve the sums and thus broke the world record. This is the first time Ogasawara participated in the event, which is currently in its fifth edition. He won the overall title but scored zero in one of the main categories. The calendar calculation brought the master down; in this segment participants are presented with a list of dates from 1600 to 2100 and given 60 seconds to name the day of the week for as many of them as possible. Myagmarsuren Tuuruul from Mongolia answered 57 days correctly and won this category.