Suyash Manchali of class 6 from MESKKPS, Bengaluru was the first runner-up, and Marika Kiran of class 6 from Villa Theresa High School, Mumbai was the second runner-up.
Shreyas Mathur of class 8 from Kothari International School, Noida finished fourth.
The competition garnered immense popularity right from the beginning, with three preliminary rounds of quizzes that tested the participants (students of classes 6 to 8) on their vocabulary, grammar, and spelling skills. Of the 10000 students that took part in the heats nationally, 24 top scorers got through to the semi-finals.
Spelling bees are known to be competitive; this was seen in the nail-biting finishes in the semis, wherein four participants moved to the final. The final went up to 12 rounds, where students were given words from the same band of difficulty level.
44 words were used in the final and Arjun’s winning word was ‘excusable.’ There was a tiebreaker for the third place. The final took place in the online presence of two adjudicators as well as a large audience of teachers, students, and parents watching the session LIVE. The participants had to spell each word within 30 seconds of it being pronounced.
“I have been very impressed with the spelling skills on display during the Collins National Spelling Bee. English spelling is notoriously tricky: the language has 44 sounds but only 26 letters of the alphabet with which to represent these sounds and this – plus the complex history of English – makes English spelling unpredictable and difficult. All of the competitors through to the live rounds – the semi-finalists and finalists – did brilliantly and displayed some impressive real spelling skills. Congratulations to all competitors and the teachers, parents, and support teams who helped get them match-ready: you are all spelling super-stars! And special congratulations to Arjun Narasimhan,” said Dr Elaine Higgleton, International Publisher – Collins Learning, who adjudicated the competition and prepared the word lists.
“It was a thoroughly enjoyable competition which saw participation in thousands from across the country. The quality of participation was there for all to see. My congratulations to the winners and all the participants and compliments to Collins Learning for organizing this competition,” said Ajay Poonia, a well-known quizmaster and anchor, who co-adjudicated the competition.
“As a Publisher, Collins aims for the holistic development of students. Competitions like a spelling bee help enhance the reading, vocabulary, and cognitive skills of children. It was heartening to see how many languages the participants knew, their penchant for reading books of different genres, and their ability to spell difficult words with such ease. It gave us an insight into how rich their vocabulary is. Heartiest congratulations to all the participants” said Rageshree Niyogi, Head – Product and Marketing, Collins Learning India.