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The world’s fastest human calculators get together at the Mental Calculations World Cup 2014 to find out who really is the first among equals. And you bet India is in the equation

A year that sees two major world cups — FIFA and MCWC. While India can only cheer the other country teams at FIFA, it isn’t behind at being part of the Mental Calculations World Cup. The official announcement of the contestants who have made it to the MCWC 2014 took place a few days ago.

The MCWC stages different events in the field of mental calculations, which involves tasks like adding up rows of 10 digit numbers in the time it would take most people to punch them into a calculator, or to name the days of the week for any dates of the past 400 years, giving answers in less than a second.

This year, MCWC 2014 will be held at Dresden-Germany soon after the Junior Mental Calculation Championship in Bielefeld, Germany. The MCWC has shortlisted and finalised 40 best human calculators across the globe to compete.

For the first time the MCWC will witness the Indian team of calculators who are currently being trained by 25-year-old mental calculations trainer Gwendolen Noronha. This cause has been much initiated and supported by her father Eusebius Noronha. Gwendolen was lately titled on International Woman’s Day as the “Best Mental Calculations Women Coach” in the world and one of Most Desirable Women by the Achiever’s Chair on 8 March 2014. This young genius lady has been known to break and create several versatile world records.

The team has gained recognition all over the world due to their sudden and constant victory from winning 33 medals at the Memoriad Mental Calculations and Memory Sports Olympics in the year 2012 to breaking and setting several world records in the field of Mental Six Digit Square Roots, Mental Twenty Digit Multiplication, Mental Eight Digit Square Root, Mental Additions and Flash Anzan in the year 2013. The team further won the Turkish Memoriad Open Championship with five gold medals and four silver medals and the Mental Calculations Japan Cup.

With record holders like Granth Thakkar, a 13-year-old boy who cracked six-digit square roots of 10 numbers in 67 seconds and went on to winseveral world records and Rhea Shah, a current record holder for Mental Eight Digit Square Root, the team is a front-runner in the games. They also have more strong inclusions to their list who haven’t competed before but are equally good.

The MCWC list also includes current world record holders—Yusnier Viera from USA (holds the record for computing 93 dates in a minute from 400 years ranging from different centuries), Freddy Reyes from Cuba (holds the record for multiplying two eight digit numbers the fastest) and Naofumi Ogasawara from Japan (holds the record for adding several rows of 10 digit numbers the fastest). The World Cup will be final goal for many countries, namely Germany, India, Japan, Great Britain, Turkey, United States of America and Cuba.

Most of the contestants are self-trained, while some like those in the Indian team are coached by experts like Gwendolen Noronha and her father. “You don’t need to be born brilliant. As long as you are agile and willing to enhance the skill, you can welcome the power in your brain,” says Gwendolen. At the moment they have been coaching contestants from India and Kenya though they are open to training any human calculator from any country. “The origin doesn’t matter, it’s the passion for the sport that I look for. You have it in you and I will be there to coach you, though however right now I am committed to the Indian Team for MCWC, 2014,” says Gwendolen, who is currently at the World Education Games Headquarters in Sydney soon after the announcement of the next World Education Games for 2015.

The Indian team holds a total of seven contestants at the MCWC and 13 contestants at the Junior Mental Calculations Championship 2014. Former Mental Six Digit World Record Holder Hakan Gurbuslar, 31, says, “I am working hard towards trying to retain my title but what I don’t have is a coach like Gwendolen.”

Gwendolen is also all set to tie up with the brand of the world’s greatest Human Calculator, Scott Flansburg, quite a celebrity in his field, having showcased his skill for Oprah Winfrey in 2012.

This year at the MCWC with such talented calculators, the world is sure to witness some challenging scores and spectacular wins.

BOX: Sum and its parts

Where are the world’s best mental calculations training zones?

~ Mega Hafiza operated by MelikDuyar in Turkey

~ Spicy Math Corp operated by YusnierViera in USA

~ Power House Academy operated by West Wong in Malaysia

~ Genius Kid and Child’s Intellectual Academy Pvt. Ltd. operated by Gwendolen Noronha and Eusebius Noronha in India

Published in The Indian Sun (Indian Australian Magazine)

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