Karthik Nemmani, 14, wins National Spelling Bee

02 June, 2018, 00:56 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
  • Participants who advanced to the final round gather on stage during the Scripps National Spelling Bee on Wednesday

Karthik had met Naysa on the spelling stage before the Scripps Bee, though.

The third through sixth places went to Abhijay Kodali, Jashun Paluru, Navneeth Murali and Sravanth Malla. "She deserved the trophy as much as I did", Karthik said of Naysa.

Forty-one spellers advanced to the finals yesterday out of a field of 516 by far the largest in the 93-year history of the competition at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in Maryland to battle it out for the title of champion.

Karthik is the 14th consecutive Indian-American competition champion. When asked at what point he knew he could spell the winning word "koinonia", the Class 8 student told CNN, "When I heard it".

Like many top spellers, Karthik was a precocious preschooler - he arranged block letters to spell "horse" at age 3 and won his first spelling bee at 4½, his dad said.

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Smith tied for 189th place previous year.

The cash prize for second place is $30,000. Contestants started the three-day bee on Tuesday this year - an extra day was added this year to accommodate the number of contestants.

In the first round, almost half of the finalists misspelled their words, including several crowd favourites such as Tara Singh, a 13-year-old from Kentucky who was competing at her fifth and final national bee.

Indian-origin children have won the Spelling Bee championship for 11 continuous years since Sameer Mishra won in 2008.

The bee had 519 spellers participating in rounds one and two, and 452 take part in round three.

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"She was just as graceful as she could be", bee program manager Corrie Loeffler said.

Reagan's spelling - balaklava - was correct for the city in the Ukraine, but not correct for the garment that covers the head, neck and most of the face, which is spelled balaclava.

"He just really wanted to get it", he said. "We weren't against each other".

Paul Hamrick, 14, from Monterey, Calif., spells his word correctly during the finals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Oxon Hill, Md., Thursday, May 31, 2018.

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