WASHINGTON: 9 Indian-Americans Among 11 US Spelling Bee Finalists This Year

WASHINGTON: 9 Indian-Americans Among 11 US Spelling Bee Finalists This Year

WASHINGTON: Nine of the 11 finalists for this
year’s US Spelling Bee contest are Indian-Americans, reflecting the dominance
young kids from the small ethnic community have had on this prestigious and
high-pressure endurance test for more than a decade now.

The 11
spellers, of which nine are Indian-Americans, will compete for the champion
title during the 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee Finals on July 8, a
statement said on Monday.

the in-person finals, the Bee will have the option of activating a spell-off if
needed. The spell-off would be activated in the closing minutes of the
competition if a champion has not yet been declared in a traditional,
one-person, one-word round, it said.

are honoured to introduce our 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee Finalists.
Round after round, this group of spellers proved their mettle, and we look
forward to seeing them show off their knowledge and hard work as they square
off against the dictionary on the national stage,” said Dr J Michael
Durnil, executive director of the Bee.

to all of this year’s 209 national qualifiers – they’ve persevered over a year
that has been challenging in many ways, and our team is proud to have witnessed
their journey,” he said.

National Bee is a high-profile, high-pressure endurance test as much as a nerd
spelling match and spellers spend months preparing for it.

The final
rounds of this year’s contest will be hosted in person at ESPN Wide World of
Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Florida, and will be
broadcast live in prime time on ESPN2.

The 11
finalists are Roy Seligman, 12, from Nassau, The Bahamas; Bhavana Madini, 13,
from New York; Sreethan Gajula, 14, from Charlotte, North Carolina; Ashrita
Gandhari, 14, from Leesburg, Virginia; Avani Joshi, 13, from Illinois; Zaila
Avant-garde, 14, from New Orleans; Vivinsha Veduru, 10, from Texas; Dhroov
Bharatia, 12, from Dallas; Vihaan Sibal, 12, from Texas; Akshainie Kamma, 13,
from Texas and Chaitra Thummala, 12, from San Francisco.

Over the
past 20 years, Indian-Americans have been dominating the Spelling Bee contest
even though they comprise only about 1 per cent of the US population.

The Bee
was cancelled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. But there were eight
co-champions in 2019, seven of whom were Indian-Americans, bringing the total
number of Indian-American champions since 1999 to 26.

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