E.Lkhag­vadu­lam: I never imag­ined I would set a Guin­ness world record

The UB Post - - Front Page - By T.BAYARBAT

Acou­ple of years ago, Mon­go­lians held the view that mak­ing it to the Guin­ness Book of Records would be very tough, even unattain­able, but in re­cent years, many Mon­go­lians have bro­ken Guin­ness world records. One such in­di­vid­ual is E.Lkhag­vadu­lam, a 16-year-old girl who set the world record for five min­utes bi­nary event at the World Mem­ory Cham­pi­onships last year. E.Lkhag­vadu­lam is an in­ter­na­tional grand­mas­ter and world record holder and has won nine medals from the World Mem­ory Cham­pi­onships so far.

As she set a new world with a raw score of 5,597 in the bi­nary dig­its event at the 2018 World Mem­ory Cham­pi­onships, the 2018 Guin­ness Book of World Records fea­tures E.Lkhag­vadu­lam’s achieve­ment.

Her mother Z.Enkhtuya said, “I had hoped that my daugh­ter had the po­ten­tial to suc­ceed in the 2018 World Mem­ory Cham­pi­onships, and I felt ner­vous through­out the cham­pi­onships when my daugh­ter par­tic­i­pated in the cham­pi­onships. To­day I am proud of my daugh­ter for mak­ing bril­liant achieve­ments.”

Ath­lete of the Mongolian Master Minds Acad­emy E.Lkhag­vadu­lam sat down with Unu­udur daily news­pa­per on Jan­uary 3 to talk about her achieve­ments and mem­ory sport.

You moved to Ulaan­baatar with your fam­ily from Darkhan City last year. How did you cel­e­brate the New Year’s Eve in Ulaan­baatar?

I cel­e­brated the New Year’s Eve with my fam­ily and some rel­a­tives. This was a very ex­cit­ing time. As I par­tic­i­pated in 10 dif­fer­ent events at the 27th World Mem­ory Cham­pi­onship, held in Hong Kong from De­cem­ber 20 to 22, I earned four gold, one sil­ver and four bronze medals -- this past year was amaz­ing for my life. The Ulaan­baatar New Year’s Eve 2018 was very spe­cial as I had made some ex­cit­ing achieve­ments few days ago.

Have you ever imag­ined mak­ing such achieve­ments?

I have never imag­ined such achieve­ments. Of course, not only me but ev­ery­body wants to achieve the cham­pi­onships ti­tle, but I did not think about break­ing a Guin­ness world record. Keep­ing track of your achieve­ments in mem­ory sport is not easy, which de­pends on how much you are train­ing, as well as the com­mand of your pa­tience and emo­tions. Dur­ing train­ing, I mem­o­rized over 6,000 bi­nary num­bers in 30 min­utes, which en­cour­aged me to suc­ceed in the cham­pi­onships. I wanted to set my per­sonal best of 6,000 bi­nary num­bers dur­ing the cham­pi­onships, al­though I did what I ex­pected, I ap­proached my ex­pec­ta­tion. As I mem­o­rized 5,597 bi­nary num­bers at the cham­pi­onships, I broke a world record set by N.Enkhshur of Mon­go­lia.

Would you ex­plain more about the 30-minute bi­nary dig­its event?

You have to mem­o­rize a se­quence of bi­nary dig­its (zero and one). What you need to mem­o­rize is some­thing like 001, 10, 111, or 00. It means that you mem­o­rize a com­bi­na­tion of zero and one. A se­quence has 25 rows. Each row in­cludes 30 bi­nary dig­its, which means that a se­quence in­cludes 750 bi­nary num­bers. You have 30 min­utes to mem­o­rize a se­quence. The rule of this game is that you have to be able to re­call what you mem­o­rized for an hour. How many num­bers you re­mem­ber in a row cor­rectly with­out miss­ing a num­ber in a ta­ble de­pends on how much score you will get. An hour is not enough to re­mem­ber each num­ber in eight dif­fer­ent bi­nary ma­tri­ces in which more than 6,000 bi­nary dig­its are placed. It is a very short time to do that.

How did you feel when you were told that you set a new world record?

I was told this while on break with other Mon­go­lians of our team af­ter fin­ish­ing the 30-minute bi­nary dig­its

event. A Chi­nese mem­ory ath­lete who com­peted with me in this event con­grat­u­lated me for set­ting a new record by email­ing a pic­ture that said E.Lkhag­vadu­lam of Mon­go­lia has re­newed a world record. This is how I heard of my suc­cess. That was an amaz­ing mo­ment for me. Once hear­ing good news from the Chi­nese ath­lete, I con­tacted my mother to share my vic­tory with her, but she al­ready knew about it. My mother knew about my vic­tory on the of­fi­cial web­site of the cham­pi­onship be­fore I told her about it as she al­ways got on the web­site to get in­for­ma­tion about the re­sults from the cham­pi­onship. On the next day, the In­ter­na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Mem­ory of­fi­cially told me about my new record and that my vic­tory will be in­cluded in the Guin­ness Book of Records.

What did your mother say when you spoke with her?

She said, “I am proud of my daugh­ter.”

Are there any other Mongolian ath­letes that have set a new world record in mem­ory sport for adults when he or she was younger than 16 years old?

Not yet so far.

You be­came an in­ter­na­tional grand­mas­ter at 15 years old. How many young Mon­go­lians have be­come in­ter­na­tional grand­mas­ters?

I think there are seven or eight in­ter­na­tional grand­mas­ters in Mon­go­lia and most of them be­came grand­mas­ters when they were 16 years old.

Would you tell us about your train­ing? How many hours do you prac­tice a day?

Mem­ory ath­letes of most coun­tries train 12 hours ev­ery day on av­er­age, but Mongolian ath­letes can­not prac­tice like them for that pe­riod of time ev­ery day due to fi­nan­cial chal­lenges. We only con­duct an in­ten­sive train­ing for a month be­fore par­tic­i­pat­ing in in­ter­na­tional and world class events. There are more than 40,000 mem­ory ath­letes in China, who prac­tice for more than 10 hours per day, and the top 200 of them par­tic­i­pate in the World Cham­pi­onships. The gov­ern­ments of many coun­tries sup­port their mem­ory ath­letes. We have the po­ten­tial to make more achieve­ments if the state sup­ports us. There are more than 400 mem­ory ath­letes in Mon­go­lia, but most of them can­not go to in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tions in mem­ory sport be­cause of fi­nan­cial is­sues. Most of the ath­letes that par­tic­i­pated in the 2018 World Mem­ory Cham­pi­onships were new ath­letes. They gained a lot of ex­pe­ri­ence from the cham­pi­onships,

which will help them achieve in fur­ther in­ter­na­tional and world class cham­pi­onships.

Start­ing this year, you will com­pete in events for adults. Do you think you have the po­ten­tial to main­tain your per­for­mance or set a new record?

Ev­ery­one, not only me, has a lot of po­ten­tial. What you reach de­pends on your hard work and pa­tience. From young peo­ple to se­niors, ev­ery­body is able to train in mem­ory sport. Prac­tic­ing mem­ory sport will help you im­prove your mem­ory, which is ben­e­fi­cial to your life in many ways. For ex­am­ple, if you prac­tice mem­ory sport, you don’t need to save phone num­bers and sav­ings ac­count num­bers some­where. Mem­ory ath­letes never save such things. If they mem­o­rize a num­ber, they will never for­get it. The ath­letes have the ca­pa­bil­ity to re­call the num­bers when­ever they need to.

Do you have a spon­sor to sup­port your train­ing?

Aj­nai Cor­po­ra­tion has been spon­sor­ing me since last year. I al­ways ap­pre­ci­ate Aj­nai Cor­po­ra­tion, Di­rec­tor of the Mongolian Master Minds Acad­emy Kh.Khatan­baatar, my train­ers

B.Baasan­dorj and U.Senge­sam­dan, and my mother for sup­port­ing me.

Af­ter you fin­ished sec­ondary school in 2018, you de­cided to not en­roll in a uni­ver­sity or col­lege. Did you make this de­ci­sion so that you can suc­ceed in the mem­ory sport? How did your fam­ily re­act to your de­ci­sion?

I live with my mother. Me and my mother both made this de­ci­sion. While study­ing, fo­cus­ing on train­ing is very dif­fi­cult, which is why we de­cided to post­pone my stud­ies for a year. We see that our de­ci­sion was right. If I en­rolled in a uni­ver­sity, I could not have achieved what I have done to­day.

What do you want to study at uni­ver­sity?

I have not reached a de­ci­sion about my study. I am con­fused about what to choose as I have sev­eral choices. I pre­fer to study en­gi­neer­ing or bank­ing and fi­nance. The Na­tional Uni­ver­sity of Mon­go­lia and the Mongolian Uni­ver­sity of Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy have given me in­vi­ta­tions to study, but I have not made a de­ci­sion to choose ei­ther one. I am go­ing abroad soon to im­prove my English. I am in­ter­ested in study­ing abroad.

Which type of mem­ory sport do you love?

I love all. A type of speed cards is get­ting in­ter­est­ing to me. Cur­rently, B.Shi­jir-Er­dene of Mon­go­lia holds the world record for speed cards as he mem­o­rized a se­quence of 52 dif­fer­ent cards in 12.74 sec­onds.

Does your mother like mem­ory sport? Does she try to prac­tice this sport?

She never tried it and doesn’t like it, but she al­ways pro­vides me with all pos­si­ble sup­port for mak­ing more achieve­ments. My mother al­ways en­cour­ages me to achieve my goals.

How many medals have you won so far? Have you ever counted your medals?

I never counted them. Nearly 100, I think. I won more than 20 medals from the World Cham­pi­onships.

Mongolian mem­ory ath­letes and twin sis­ters N.Enkhshur and N.Munkhshur par­tic­i­pated in a fa­mous TV show of Rus­sia-1 Chan­nel, and two other ath­letes, E.Enkhmunkh and S.Maral, chal­lenged them­selves on “Mon­go­lia’s Got Tal­ent”. Did you re­ceive an in­vi­ta­tion from a TV show or wish to chal­lenge your­self by com­pet­ing in a show like “Mon­go­lia’s Got Tal­ent”?

I haven’t re­ceived of­fers yet. I haven’t thought about com­pet­ing in a TV show.

...Prac­tic­ing mem­ory sport will help you im­prove your mem­ory, which

is ben­e­fi­cial to your life in many

ways...

Photo by G.ARGUUJIN

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