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This article was first published 6 years ago  » Getahead » Spelling Bee: Indian Americans sweep Top 10!

Spelling Bee: Indian Americans sweep Top 10!

By Monali Sarkar
June 02, 2017 17:37 IST
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For the 13th consecutive year, says Monali Sarkar, a desi child has won the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
But what's domination without some swag, right?


Shrinidhi Gopal

Photograph: @scrippsnationalspellingbee/Facebook

All of San Ramon, California, stood up and applauded their hometown girl Shrinidhi Gopal.

The eighth grader missed the word 'mitis'.

What is mitis? A less virulent bacilli.


Naysa Modi

Photograph: @scrippsnationalspellingbee/Facebook

After tackling words like 'cinerarium', 'helianthemum' and 'ericeticolous', Naysa Modi's run ended with 'marasmus'.

The Louisiana 6th grader walked out to a fond farewell and the expectation that she will return next year.

What is marasmus? A condition of chronic undernourishment.


Alex Iyer

Photograph: Aaron P Bernstein/Reuters

Alex Iyer from Texas was quite the crowd favourite throughout the Spelling Bee.

The standing ovation he got after spelling 'savate' incorrectly attested to that. He also improved on his previous year's performance.

What's savate? A form of boxing in which blows are delivered with either the hands or the feet.


Shruthika Padhy

Photograph: @scrippsnationalspellingbee/Facebook

Shruthika Padhy from New Jersey was notably calm and collected all the way till she tripped up on 'quintain'.

But she is just a 6th grader -- 11 years old -- and has two more years of eligibility.

What's quintain? An object to be tilted at.


Tejas Muthusamy

Photograph: @scrippsnationalspellingbee/Facebook

Tejas Muthusamy, the 14-year-old from Virginia, walked away to a misspelled 'saussurite' and a standing ovation from the gallery.

'Tejas just completed one of the great Spelling Bee careers of all time,' the organisers said. '4 trips to the Scripps National Spelling Bee, 4 top-25 finishes and 3 top-10 finishes, including his best ever this year.'

What is saussurite?A mineral consisting of a tough compact substance that is white, greenish, or grayish.


Raksheet Kota

Photograph: @scrippsnationalspellingbee/Facebook

Raksheet Kota, an eighth-grader from Texas, made it to the top five, before misspelling 'oedemerid'.
As the organisers noted, 'That's 5th best out of 11 million spellers who participated around the world.'

What is oedemerid? A soft-bodied beetle


Shourav Dasari

Photograph: @scrippsnationalspellingbee/Facebook

Even the organisers agreed that Shourav Dasari, also an eighth grader from Texas, 'delivered some of the Bee's most jaw-dropping moments, especially his hintless, mic-drop-worthy spelling of 'Mogollon'.'

It was pure meme gold :)

But Shourav, who wore the same Nike hoodie he wears to all his spelling bees, tripped up on the word 'Struldbrug'.

What is struldbrug? Coined by Jonathan Swift in Gulliver's Travels, it means a class of imaginary persons who can never die but are declared dead in law at the age of 80.


Mira Dedhia

Photograph: @scrippsnationalspellingbee/Facebook

Mira Dedhia of Illinois had an extraordinary run till she misspelled 'ehretia' and finished 3rd place.

The eighth grader was hoping to become first the child of a previous competitor to win. According to CNN, 'Her mother, Lekshmi Nair, competed in 1988, 1989 and 1990.'

What's ehretia? A genus of flowering plants in the borage family.


Rohan Rajeev

Photograph: Aaron P Bernstein/Reuters

'In the 36th round of the Bee, and in the 21st round of head-to-head competition, Rohan Rajeev, from Oklahoma, and Ananya Vinay were locked in an epic duel with our 5 rounds of words left to go,' the organisers said.

Rohan spelled 'poulaine' correctly.

Ananya spelled 'hypapante' correctly.

Then Rohan, who had got words like 'cheiropompholyx' right was tripped up by 'marram'.

But Ananya got 'gifblaar' right, leaving her a word away from the championship.

What is marram? A Scandinavian-derived word for a kind of beach grass.


Ananya Vinay

Photograph: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Ananya Vinay, who missed being in the top 50 last year, nailed the championship word 'marocain'.
It was the first time since 2013, that there was no tie-breaker and one Indian-American kid -- not two -- won the championship.

Along with the 90th Annuals Scripps National Spelling Bee trophy, the 12 year old sixth grader from Fresno, California, took home a legacy and $40,000.

What is marocain? A ribbed crepe fabric used in women's clothing.

Meet the champion, Ananya Vinay

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Monali Sarkar /