Mexican 7-year-old boy wins mental arithmetic competition

The Aloha program was created in Malaysia in 1993 by Loh Mun Sung
Photo: Featured photography
Luis Fierro / Corresponsal
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Five Mexican children demonstrated their mental abilities by obtaining excellent results at the Aloha Mental Arithmetic World Championship, held in Malaysia last weekend. Among them, a Chihuahuan child managed to solve 70 calculation problems in just three minutes: one every 2,5 seconds.

Sergio Chapa Zorrilla won the Grand Champion title in the contest, where 900 children from more than 30 countries competed. Sergio, a seven-year-old, studies at the Mi Mundo Education Center, a small private school located in the state capital. A few days ago he traveled to Kuala Lumpur, where he competed against children from countries such as Germany, Spain, United States, China, Canada, the United Kingdom and India, among others.

Sergio trained over a year in the Aloha methodology, an effort which resulted in his winning at the local, state, regional and national stages.

But not only he had an outstanding performance, Gustavo García Salazar, a native of Tampico, Tamaulipas, also reached the title of Grand Champion, with a time of 3 minutes and 40 seconds, in the six-year category.

Similarly, eight-year-old Gabriel Chavelas González returns to Mexico with his Grand Champion trophy, a title achieved by correctly solving the 70 mental calculation problems, in less than five minutes. Alejandro Flores and Leonardo Torres, both from Metepec, State of Mexico, also achieved a first and third place respectively.

The Aloha system is based on calculations with the use of the Soroban abacus. After a development process, children set the millennial instrument aside and perform the calculations in their minds. Following their triumphs, the five Mexican children were welcomed by the Mexican ambassador in Malaysia, Carlos Félix Corona, who acknowledged the progress of the little students.

The Aloha program was created in Malaysia in 1993 by Loh Mun Sung and has a presence in more than 30 countries. Mexico arrived in late 2012.

Mun Sung retook Soroban abacus Japanese system and combined it with Chinese learning techniques. The method was implemented in its country of origin and quickly spread to regions of Asia, then to Canada, England, and the United States. Currently, more than 250 thousand children learn the method around the world and in Mexico it is taught only in private schools.


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