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Oxford native new world memory champion

By University of Mississippi Medical Center

Second-year UMMC medical student Alex Mullen was declared the overall world champion Friday at the 24th World Memory Championships in Chengdu, China.

A memory athlete who entered the world of competitive memorization for the first time in 2014, the Oxford native becomes the first World Memory Champion from the United States. The overall champion’s reward: $39,000.

Team USA, led by Mullen, 22, took second place in the event.

The three-day championships, held in the Jintang Hengda hotel in the province of Sichuan, pitted competitors in 10 different disciplines, such as spoken numbers, playing cards, historic/future dates, binary numbers, random words, speed cards and more.

Mullen took the overall title when he defeated frontrunner Marwin Wallonius of Sweden in a final speed-card clash.

Even before his trip to China, Mullen was ranked world-wide as a contestant, thanks to such feats as recalling the arrangement of a 52-card deck in under 29 seconds, committing to memory a series of 615 digits in order; memorizing 70 made-up “historical” dates in under five minutes and more.