For a long time, the world record for solving the 3×3 was in the mid 4 second range. Even when it was broken, the record only dropped by a tenth or few hundredths of a second. The previous world record time was a 4.22 by Feliks Zemdegs. This was already a substantial drop from Seung Beom Cho’s 4.59 previous record. Many people thought the record would remain Feliks’ 4.22 seconds for a long time since it was a drop of nearly 0.4 seconds. However, about 7 months later, Feliks’ record was smashed by Chinese speed solver Yusheng Du (杜宇生). Du pulled off a mind blowing 3.47 seconds official solve at the Wuhu Open 2018 competition.
It’s a big deal
As mentioned previously, most of the records beat the previous record by only a small fraction of a second. This new time was 0.75 seconds faster than the previous record which is unheard of in the 3×3 event. Since the record was such a leap in speed, it also became the first official sub-4 seconds official solve. Unfortunately, no one was filming the solve. However, we are lucky enough to have the surveillance footage showing the solve that Yusheng Du posted on his YouTube channel:
Will anyone ever beat this new record time?
It’s a valid question. Solve times like Yusheng Du’s are getting close to the point where it’s physically impossible to beat. The time it takes for the brain to examine, recognize and communicate to the hands what moves need to be completed and the average turns per second of a speed solver are limiting factors to what the fastest time can be whittled down to. When the record was still in the mid/low 4 second range, cubers were confident someone could still beat it by a fraction of a second. Time will tell, but dropping the record by 0.75 seconds might have placed Du’s record in the unbeatable tier for many years to come.