A 13-year-old Shruthika Padhy – the co-champion of Scripps National Spelling Bee contest, USA – hails from Odisha and spelled history. She scripted history when she was declared co-champion with seven other Indian-origin participants. This Odia girl made it to the final stage along with an American, both have been declared co-champions of the US National Spelling Bee in an unprecedented decision after it was announced that there is a tie among the eight who grabbed the first position even after 20 rounds of the finals, Odisha Sun Times reported.

A resident of New Jersey and a student of Rosa International Middle School, Shruthika spelled the words, ‘limitrophe’, ‘aiguillette’ and ‘therblig’ correctly to lift the prestigious trophy. “I was definitely a little nervous but I tried to stay calm and put on my game face and really give it my all,” Shruthika said. “I’m so incredibly thankful for the support of my community and my school,” CBS3 reported.

For the first time in the 92-year history of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, the dictionary has lost to the kids as the competition named 8 co-champions, CNN reported.

As per reports, Shruthika attempted fourth time this year and it is known as a high-pressure and renowned contest. The 13-year-old speller first entered the test in 2016 and secured 22nd position, improving her score to reach the 17th position in 2017. Last year, she bagged the 10th place.

This year, the champions won the trophy on Thursday night after the organisers ran out of their selection of difficult words to challenge them further.

“Champion spellers, we are now in uncharted territory,” Bailly told the packed crowd at Maryland’s Gaylord National Harbor Convention Center and those watching in prime time on ESPN.

“We do have plenty of words remaining on our list,” he continued. “But we will soon run out of words that will possibly challenge you, the most phenomenal collection of super spellers in the history of this competition.”

“We’re throwing the dictionary at you and so far, you are showing the dictionary who is boss.”

In her quest to win this coveted trophy for the last two years, a restless Shruthika has been putting rigorous training for months. Finally, this year she wins a cash award of 50,000 $ along with each champion. “I do plan on spending most of the money on college and I do want a new pair of sneakers,” Shruthika said.

Her father, Umashankar Padhy, who graduated in Electrical Engineering from UCE in Burla of Sambalpur district, was on cloud nine as his daughter brings the trophy home.

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Held at Gayland National Resort in National Harbour of Oxon Hill Maryland in the USA, eight champions were declared for the first time in the history of the 94-year-old Scripps National Spelling Bee competition.

From 562 to 8

This year at the annual contest, the winners were the last ones to triumph among 562 spellers ranging from seven years to 14 years. The contestants were drawn from across the US and abroad. The co-champions are: Rishik Gandhasri; Erin Howard; Saketh Sundar; Shruthika Padhy; Sohum Sukhatankar; Abhijay Kodali; Christopher Serrao; and Rohan Raja.

Feature Image Credit:  Odisha Sun Times

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