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Spelling Bee US: 9 Indian Americans among 11 finalists

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Spelling Bee US: 9 Indian Americans among 11 finalists
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Washington: In a probable repeat of the previous few years' phenomenon, nine of the 11 finalists for this year's US Spelling Bee contest are Indian-Americans. The prestigious and high-pressure endurance test for more than a decade has seen the dominance of young contestants from the small ethnic community.

The 11 spellers this time will compete for the champion title during the 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee Finals on July 8, a statement said on Monday.

During 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.

"We 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.

"Congratulations 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.

The 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 drawn from the Bahamas, and different states of the United States.

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.

(Based on PTI inputs with minor edits)

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TAGS:spelling Bee US 11 finalists 9 Indian Americans July 8 final 
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