Child Prodigy solves 70 operations in 3 minutes

Sergio is just seven years old but won Mental Arithmetic Wolrd Championship
He also likes to play chess, sport where his quick mind and mental strategies have increased his performance - LUIS FIERRO. EL UNIVERSAL
Luis Fierro / Corresponsal
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“I like Maths because they are fun,” says Sergio, a seven-year old who won the title of Grand Champion in Malaysia, at the Aloha Mental Arithmetic World Championship.

For him, everything is a game. It almost seems like winning this contest is of little importance; he sees his trophy and medal as if they were toys.

Last July 17, five Mexican children showed their mental skills when they obtained excellent results at the Mental Arithmetic World Championship that took place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Among them was the Chihuahuan native who solved correctly 70 calculus problems in under three minutes.

Sergio Abelardo is the third of four brothers, but he's the only one who is passionate about Calculus and numbers. His mother says he's a very quiet child who prefers to stay inside rather than go out and play.

“Since he was very little, he showed great skills for Maths. We noticed that when he was in kindergarten. He has developed his abilities by himself, outside of school,” says Olivia Zorrilla.

The boy studies at the school Mi Mundo (My World), a private institution under which uses the Aloha method, a learning and mental development system that Sergio used to win the world championship.

“I have straight A's,“ said Sergio in an interview with EL UNIVERSAL. He's a boy of few words and a bit shy. He remembers from his trip to Malaysia that it is a beautiful country, very cloudy and that he got to meet kids from “many countries”.

When I asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up, he said without hesitation that he wanted to become a Calculus teacher, so he could teach other kids how to solve operations in seconds.

“I'm going to teach them Maths and the abacus,” he said, referring to the instrument used by the Aloha system, although in this case it's the Soroban, a Japanese version of the abacus in which the beads go from top to bottom and backwards, but not right to left, as does the most famous abacus in Mexico.

Sergio plays chess, a sport where he has grown as a player due to his capacity to think quickly and develop mental strategies, something few children his age manage to do. Furthermore, he practices Lima Lama, a Polynesian art of self-defense whose name, curiously enough, refers to wisdom and knowledge – which is precisely what Sergio is training for: to develop his mind to improve his learning.

Thanks to his excellent results, Sergio and the other four representatives of Mexico were received by the ambassador to Malaysia and congratulated by Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.

“In Chihuahua, we have many kids who can become world champions of Mental Arithmetics. If we check the databases, we'll find more than 80,” claims Gilberto Andujo Breach, teacher of Sergio. Sergio relied on the support of families and friends to pay for the trip, where he beat more than 900 kids from at least 30 countries.


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