THE man with the world's best memory has blamed exhaustion for his struggle to recall the name of a TV host. Jonas Von Essen beat 120 competitors to win the World Memory Championships in Croydon on Monday - before going on Newsnight and struggling to recall Jeremy Paxman's name when tested to recite the show's credits. But on Tuesday the cheerful 22-year-old put the blip down to very little food and sleep and the intensity of the three-day competition. He told the Advertiser: "I was so extremely exhausted after three days of competition and then I almost did not have any lunch. "And then I got there they did not tell me what was going to happen. They just put me there and I thought there was going to be an interview, but they said 'Just memorise that.' "I was so tired that I almost could not see what I was reading. "And then I think I memorised it all but I could not bring it all back. "It would be like asking a runner who has just done an ultra marathon to do a 100m sprint - you would not expect him to do very well." It was less than three years ago that Mr Von Essen, of Gothenburg in Sweden, started entering memory contests, and he said winning at the Croydon Conference Centre event was a "huge surprise." "It is all about techniques," he added. "I was born with an ordinary memory and three years ago I had an ordinary memory. But then I discovered a book with memory techniques and I started to practice. "I noticed that immediately I could memorise things that I could not memorise before and I found it was very cool of course and I wanted to see how far I could take it."
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