BEN NACHOLS, Associated Press
OXON HILL, Md. (AP) – A speller has been reinstated into the Scripps National Spelling Bee field after successfully appealing that he was denied relevant word root information.
Surya Kapu, a 13-year-old from South Jordan, Utah, misspelled “leucovorin,” a drug used to counter the side effects of a cancer drug, during the final semi-final round on Wednesday night. final.
Surya’s family filed an appeal, arguing that Scripps left out details when he asked about the word’s roots. Spelling artists are allowed to ask questions about roots, and the judges answer in the affirmative if the speller can determine the appropriate root and its meaning.
Scripps said in a statement that his judges deliberated for approximately two hours before deciding late Wednesday night to reinstate Surya.
“The judges’ decision to restore is based on a belief in the bee’s mission to inspire word exploration and celebrate academic achievement,” the statement said. “After further study, it was found that the dictionary contains information that is directly related to one of the spelling issues. Based on this, Surya will be given a chance to participate in the 7th round with a new word.”
What this means in practice: Surya will get her new word at the start of the Thursday night finale. If he gets that word right, he will join the 12 finalists who have already come forward to compete for over $50,000 in cash and prizes.
Surya has an excellent spelling resume and is a student of 2015 runner-up Cole Schafer-Rae, who coached last year’s champion Zayla Vanguard.
Recovery is rare, but not unprecedented. The last one happened in 2018 when a contestant spelled the homonym of a word correctly without getting a definition and without saying that the homonym exists.
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