split image of Yiheng Wang

9-year-old speedcubing prodigy Yiheng Wang (China) has broken the record for the fastest average time to solve a 3x3x3 rotating puzzle cube, with a time of 4.69 seconds.

Young Yiheng has dethroned cubing veterans Max Park (USA) and Tymon Kolasiński (Poland), who jointly held the record with a time of 4.86 seconds.

Yiheng registered his record-breaking time during the semi-final of the Yong Jun KL Speedcubing 2023 event in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on 12 March.

Over the course of five solves, he recorded times of 4.35, 3.90, 4.41, 5.31 and 6.16 seconds. As per World Cube Association rules, the fastest and slowest times are discounted when calculating the average.

The second of Yiheng’s five solves (3.90 seconds) was the fifth-fastest single solve ever. 

The record for the fastest single solve ever remains 3.47 seconds, achieved by Yusheng Du (China) in 2018.

After Yiheng’s record-breaking semi-final performance, he progressed to the final of the competition, where he won with an average solve time of 5.97 seconds.

Yiheng's second solve of 3.90 seconds was the fifth-fastest ever recorded in competition

Amazingly, Yiheng actually broke the record two weeks earlier, but it was disqualified. During the first round of Hanoi Super Brain Zyo 2023, he clocked in an average of 4.75 seconds, but the cube had been incorrectly scrambled for one of the solves, thus his record-breaking time was discounted.

In official WCA competitions, each cube is jumbled up, aka ‘scrambled’, by designated human scramblers who prepare cubes for competitors by following computer-generated sequences. 

However, occasionally, human error can lead to scrambles being done incorrectly, which unfortunately was the case for Yiheng.

Luckily, Yiheng has now achieved an even faster time, and the scrambler from Hanoi can breathe a sigh of relief.

Portrait photo of Yiheng Wang

Yiheng is sponsored by cube manufacturer GAN, and he is now part of the GAN Gurus, a team of the best speedcubers from all around the world.

Yiheng has won all three speedcubing competitions he’s entered in 2023, which were among the first events to be held in Asia post-pandemic.

At the Singapore Championship 2023, Yiheng defeated fellow Chinese cubing prodigy Ruihang Xu in the final.

14-year-old Ruihang Xu is one of the few people to have solved a cube on camera in under three seconds, however, it was not performed in an official WCA competition, thus does not qualify for the world record. All speedcubing records are ratified by the WCA, whereupon they are also recognized by Guinness World Records.

Yiheng and Ruihang are among a number of talented Chinese children who have burst onto the speedcubing scene in recent years, and now that WCA competitions have fully resumed around the world, these young cubers are expected to break numerous records and set unprecedented solve times.

What's the limit to how fast a Rubik's cube can be solved?

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