Memory World Record set by Ben Pridmore
[July 17] LONDON--Ben Pridmore has broken the ‘30 Seconds Barrier’ - the Holy Grail of the Mind Sport of Memory - for memorising a shuffled deck of 52 playing cards and then recalling them correctly, and in order: 26.28 SECONDS!
The 30-year-old accountant BEN PRIDMORE from Derby performed this spectacular feat at the UK Open Memory Championship*, on Saturday 14th July – obliterating the current Speed Cards record of 31.16 seconds, set by another Englishman, Andi Bell, at the World Championship held in London in 2006.
Ben was hot favourite to win the 10 discipline Championship and title of UK Memory Champion, prior to competing at the World Memory Championship to be held in the Kingdom of Bahrain at the end of August. However, he totally stunned assembled spectators, memory arbiters and fellow competitors - by smashing one of the longest standing barriers in the sport.
Since the founding of the annual World Memory Championships http.:www.worldmemorychampionships.com in 1991 by memory guru and leading international business consultant and author Tony Buzan - inventor of Mind Maps® - the memorisation of a single pack of playing cards in under 30 seconds has been regarded as the ultimate challenge for competitors.
“Some have come close, but whenever a new World Record is set it tends to be broken by a few tenths of a second” says Tony. “The 30 second barrier in Speed Cards has been the ‘Holy Grail’ for any memory athlete, for the entire duration of the history of the Mind Sport of Memory.
Eat your heart out, Sir Roger… “In physical sports terms, it is equivalent to the 4 Minute Mile. When Roger Bannister finally broke that record in 1954, it was by the tiniest of margins – 6 tenths of a second… a mere 0.25%. Ben Pridmore’s breaking of the 30 Second Barrier by 3.72 seconds is an unprecedented demolition of what seemed to be the ultimate barrier. It pushes back, to a gigantic degree, the boundaries of human mental capacity. It is the equivalent of Roger Bannister having broken the Four Minute Mile by 29.76 seconds” states Tony.
“It was a privilege to watch such a virtuoso performance” says Phil Chambers, Chief Arbiter of the World Memory Championships and organiser of Saturday’s event. “Ben’s new record of 26.28 seconds has now considerably raised the bar. He has claimed similar times in practice but it is totally different to do it after nine gruelling rounds of memorisation, with only two attempts and huge peer and spectator pressure focusing on you. The new ultimate goal is now 25 seconds, something that Pridmore confidently predicts can be broken.”
“Memory Champions are made, not born” continues Tony Buzan. “The thousands of hours of training which Ben and his fellow memory wizards put in confirm the recently reported scientific fact that genius can be learned. This feat is the result of training the relevant part of brain to ultimate performance – by hard work, and hard play! The brain can be trained, as Ben has amply demonstrated.”
A former Memory World Champion (2004), Ben is certainly back on form - and all set to challenge the current holder of the crown (2005/06), Clemens Mayer (Germany) at the World Memory Championship – to be held in Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain, on 31st August to 2nd September 2007. He is one of a handful of contestants being followed by production company Special Editions Films, for a C5 documentary on the Championships.
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