Two Canadian girls are still in the running to win the annual Scripps National Spelling Bee. Twelve-year-olds Mignon Tsai of Abbotsford, B.C. and Jennifer Mong of St. John’s, N.L. spelled their way into the semifinal of the famous competition on Wednesday. They are now among 50 schoolchildren with a chance to take the Scribbs title Thursday night in a televised spelling showdown.
Tsai and Mong made it to the final 50 after separating themselves from a field of 278 competitors. A third Canadian from Windsor, Ont., Zhongtian Wang, was eliminated, the Windsor Star reports. From the Canadian Press:
In Round 2 of the spelling bee on Wednesday, Mong spelled “limousine” correctly, Tsai aced “hyacinth” but Wang got a tough one — “issei,” a word for a Japanese immigrant. The audience applauded in relief when she nailed it.
In Round 3, Tsai got a difficult word: “leegte.” Mong got “vaticination” right and Wang spelled “embarcadero” correctly, but her scores from a 50-word computer quiz on Tuesday didn’t give her enough points to take her to the semifinal.
Last year, a Canadian came tantalizingly close to winning the famed spelling bee. Laura Newcombe of Toronto placed second after she misspelled the word “sorites” (note: my spellcheck doesn’t know how to spell it either). Newcombe was the third Canadian runner-up in the competition since 2005.
To the winner Thursday will go the coveted Scripps trophy, and more than $40,000 in cash, scholarship money and educational material.