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2018 Scripps National Spelling Bee Champion Karthik Nemmani

Karthik Nemmani of McKinney, Texas, has been declared the champion of the 2018 Scripps National Spelling Bee, winning on the word “koinonia,” a theological term meaning Christian fellowship or communion.

2018 Scripps National Spelling Bee Champion Karthik Nemmani
2018 Scripps National Spelling Bee Championship

Karthik Nemmani of McKinney, Texas, won the 91st Scripps National Spelling Bee on Thursday, taking home a $40,000 cash prize after beating the same speller who defeated him at his countywide bee in February. 2018 Scripps National Spelling Bee Champion Karthik Nemmani .

Nemmani, 14, went head-to-head with fellow Texan Naysa Modi, 12, for only a few moments before winning the bee with the word “koinonia,” which is a body of religious believers.

2018 Scripps National Spelling Bee Champion Karthik Nemmani
2018 Scripps National Spelling Bee Champion Karthik Nemmani

“I had confidence, but I didn’t really think it would happen,” Nemmani said moments after receiving his trophy at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in suburban Washington. “I’m just really happy. This has just been a dream come true.”

Modi quickly wiped away tears as she walked off the stage with her family. She lost the competition by misspelling the word bewusstseinslage, which is a state of consciousness or a feeling devoid of sensory components.

In doing so, the 14-year-old emerged the top speller from a record-breaking 515 contestants at the national bee, compared with 291 last year, after organizers expanded eligibility.

Along the way, he had to outlast a field of 16 finalists who vanquished words such as “Praxitelean,” “ispaghul” and “telyn” in the spelling competition broadcast live on ESPN.

Nemmani’s loss to Modi at the county level would normally have disqualified him for the national bee but he took advantage of a new program called RSVBee, which allows spellers to pay to compete in the national bee.

“In tough regions like Dallas and San Francisco, a lot of kids have a lot of potential, but they aren’t able to … qualify,” said Nemmani, who spent at least four hours a day studying for the bee.

His father, Krishna Nemmani, an immigrant from Hyderabad, India, said his son had worked hard “every day and night.”

“He just really wanted to get it,” he said.

Karthik also continued a longtime trend by becoming the 14th champion or co-champion of South Asian descent the bee has had in 11 consecutive years.

2018 Scripps National Spelling Bee Champion Karthik Nemmani
2018 Scripps National Spelling Bee Champion Karthik Nemmani

The 16 spellers took the stage Thursday night at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in Maryland to battle it out for the title of champion.

To get to the finals, the competitors had to survive nearly five hours of onstage spelling that started Thursday morning. Bee officials said the plan had been to whittle down the field to about a dozen contestants for the prime-time competition. It would take five rounds of onstage spelling to get to 16, the largest group ever to head into the championship finals.

The final leg of the bee started with 16 spellers and lasted more than two hours. Students aced obscure words like lophophytosis, pseudepigrapha and ooporphyrin, while others struck out on loratadine, perduellion and paillasson.

More than a dozen former champions were in the audience, including 1985 winner Balu Natarajan, whose son, Atman Balakrishnan, 12, made it to the third round of competition on Wednesday. It marked the first time the child of a previous champion competed in the national finals.

Karthik Nemmani attributed his success to his father and his spelling coach. He said he would spend the $40,000 on college, where he hopes to study something related to technology.

The winner of the bee receives $40,000 and a trophy from the Scripps Bee, a $2,500 cash prize from Merriam-Webster, trips to New York and Hollywood as part of a media tour, and a pizza party for his school.

2018 Scripps National Spelling Bee Champion Karthik Nemmani.

Source: arkansasonline.com, wina.com

Azad Hind News

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