A 13-year-old student of Indian origin is America's new spelling champion.india Updated: May 31, 2003 15:41 IST
A 13-year-old student of Indian origin is America's new spelling champion who won $12,000by correctly spelling the word "procourante" which means "a careless or indifferent or nonchalant person."
Sai Gunturi an eighth grader, from Dallas, Texas, was among the 251 finalists out of the 10 million students in the 76th Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee on Thursday.
"Actually, I started studying in fourth grade and then I guess it's kind of like cumulative study all the way up to here," said Sai after surviving the gruelling, 15-round contest by spelling such words as "rhathymia", "dipnoous" and "voussoir".
For Sai who had participated in the competition for the fourth time had tied for a second place last year, 16th place in 2001 and 32nd place in 2000.
His sister had also tied for eighth place in 1997.
Son of a chemical engineer, Sai also plays violin and studies Indian classical music.
The spelling event opened on Wednesday with a field of 251 youngsters, ranging in age from 8 to 15. Each got one word to spell; 175 got them right.
The exam narrowed the field to 84, who made the cut by missing 10 words or fewer.
First Published: May 31, 2003 00:00 IST