US & Canada

Ohio teenager wins US spelling bee crown

Anamika Veeramani wins the National Spelling Bee trophy, 4 June 2010
Image caption Anamika Veeramani was one of the favourites to win the coveted trophy

A 14-year-old girl from the US state of Ohio has won the country's annual National Spelling Bee contest.

Anamika Veeramani, from North Royalton, claimed victory by correctly spelling the medical term stromuhr.

She takes home $40,000 (£27,450) in cash and prizes, as well as the coveted championship title.

Anamika, who came joint fifth last year, was one of the favourites to win among the 273 spellers who took part in the three-day final in Washington.

It is the third year in a row that an Indian-American has won the championship. Eight Indian-Americans have won in the last 12 years.

A stromuhr is an instrument used to measure the velocity of blood flow.

The 14-year-old winner, whose hobbies include golf and dancing, wants to go to Harvard to study to be a cardiovascular surgeon, the Associated Press news agency reported.

"It was too surreal," said Anamika, who only broke into a smile after being handed the trophy.

"It was an amazing experience. I usually have a poker face, so that's what that was."

Her nearest three rivals were eliminated for not being able to spell the word juvia, a term for a Brazil nut.

The popularity of the spelling bee - a peculiarly American tradition - has grown greatly over the past decade, partly as a result of the Academy Award-nominated documentary Spellbound.

The final was broadcast live on US television network ABC.

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