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article imageKansas girl Kavya Shivashankar, 13, wins national spelling bee

By Kesavan Unnikrishnan     May 29, 2009 in World
Thirteen year old Kavya Shivashankar of Olathe,Kansas won the 82nd annual Scripps National Spelling Bee. Kavya was declared the Spelling Bee champion after she correctly spelled the word "laodicean".
The contest had started on Tuesday in Washington with a record 293 spellers and it lasted 15 rounds.The winner Kavya is participating in the competition for the fourth time.Second place went to 12-year-old Tim Ruiter of Centreville, Virginia who misspelled the word "maecenas" .Aishwarya Pastapur, 13, from Springfield, Illnois finished third after misspelling the word "menhir".
In the first round, Kavya spelled “hydrargyrum”, as chemists call mercury . Then she nailed “blancmange”, a moulded dessert, and “baignoire”, a low theatre box. Then she correctly spelled “huisache”, a thorny shrub or small tree.In the fifth round, it was “ecossaise”, a musical term, and “diacoele”, a structure in the brain. Then “bouquiniste”, a secondhand bookseller. And “isogoge”, an introduction to a branch of study, and “phoresy”, a term in biology.
The word that won the title for her was "laodicean" pronounced lay-odd-uh-see-an, the word means lukewarm or indifferent, particularly in matters of politics or religion. Kavya won $40,000 in cash and prizes.
According to the spelling bee Web site, Kavya plans to become a neurosurgeon and her hobbies include practicing violin, bicycling, swimming, and learning Indian classical dance.
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