Saturday May 31 2008 10:56 IST
NEW YORK: Indian-origin boy Sameer Mishra has won Scripps National Spelling Bee contest beating 288 children in the 8 to 15 age group.
“Guerdon” said the judges. The 13-year-old eight grader asked for the definition, and then confidently spelled it out correctly to the thunderous applause from the audience.
It was a proud moment for Mishra who had participated in the contest for the fourth time and was trained by his sister Shruti who herself is a spelling enthusiast.
His parents and sister stood proudly behind him as he was awarded the coveted trophy Friday night. Besides engraved trophy, he gets $ 30,000 in cash and $ 2,500 worth US savings bonds from Merriam-Webster with a complete reference library.
The second place went another Indian American 12-year-old Sidharth Chand, a seventh grade student.
In all four Indian Americans were among the last 12 who qualified for the final. Kavya Shivashankar was tied in the fourth place with four others and Janhnavi Iyer was in the 8th place.
Mishra is a computer and video games enthusiast and hopes to grow up to be a neurosurgeon. Earlier he had competed in 2005 when he occupied 98th position.
In 2006, he was at 14th place and last year at 16th position. The youngest to qualify to participate in the champions was 8-year-old Indian American Sriram Hathwar.
The last student of the Indian origin who won the championship was Anurag Kashyap in 2005 by correctly spelling “appoggiatura.”
Nine students of Indian origin had made to the semi-finals.