With CubingUSA Nationals just over one month away, many cubers around North America are scrambling to refine their solving methods, pack their bags, and prepare to fly to Baltimore, Maryland. TheCubicle will be sponsoring this year’s events again, offering over $25,000 in prize money to winners, and of course, vending!
This year’s competition is slated to be one of the most competitive Nationals yet. Lucas Etter (2011ETTE01) will be making his return, after missing the event in 2018. Lucas was sidelined for over a year with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA). He won’t have an easy path to victory, with fellow Americans Max Park (2012PARK03) and Patrick Ponce (2012PONC02) in the mix, who recently broke the 3x3 NAR Average and Single, respectively. You can watch Lucas, Patrick and Max team up to compete in the Nations Cup at World Championships, a three cube knockout relay tournament. The team placed in the Top Four at last year’s event.
After an incredibly exciting USA National Championship 2018 in Salt Lake City featuring many international stars, this year will see cubing superstars set their focus on World Championship Titles. Worlds only comes once every two years, with this year’s events taking place in Melbourne, Australia from July 11-14th. This year’s competition will play host to a number of exciting storylines.
Popular Roux solver and Qiyi M-Team member Kian Mansour made a strong impression at 2017 Worlds, winning the first round with an average time of 6.86, setting a new Canadian Record. I reached out to Kian to ask about his mindset and journey coming into Worlds 2019:
“If you’re reading this, you have probably heard the legendary tale of my World Championship 2017 performance. Who am I kidding, it was more of a choke than a performance... Leading up to world’s 2019, a lot has changed. In the past 2 years, I’ve graduated high school, completed a year of university, taken up a new sport in powerlifting, decided to get good at one-handed, broken the OH WR, and many more events than I can’t recall.
This time around, I’m doing things differently. My practice is heavily focused on recreating competition environments using all my senses, and employing strategies to ensure optimal performance... I have loved the process of treating my speedcubing training like a real-life science experiment… No matter what happens, I will take pride in how far I’ve come and realise that it’s the process that matters. At the end of the day, I’ll be happy with where I end up because I know it’ll be the result I deserve from what I put in.” ~ Kian Mansour
Kian wrote an incredible two page piece on this topic when asked, fully describing his journey from 2017 to the 2019 World’s Championships. To check out his statement in its entirety, check out the video here.
Seung Hyuk Nahm (2013NAHM01) finished last year’s finals in second place, with an average time of 7.02. His silver medal victory came bittersweet, as his first solve of Finals he received an unexpected DNF penalty due to a timer malfunction. Had his original time stood, and all following times stayed the same, he would have been World Champion. Nahm has been on a record setting pace since World Championships, setting Asian Continental Records in 3x3, 4x4, 5x5, 6x6, 7x7, and 3x3 One-Handed.
With more parity than ever, this year’s Championships is going to be a must see. Leave a comment below with results predictions for your favorite events at Nationals and Worlds Championship. US Nationals will be livestreamed by MentalBlockTV and TheCubicle on the first weekend of August.