One Canadian still contending spelling bee semifinals
Jennifer Mong, 12, of St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada, fixes her braids during the semifinals of the National Spelling Bee in Oxon Hill, Md., Thursday, May 31, 2012. (AP / Jacquelyn Martin)
Published Thursday, May 31, 2012 1:02PM EDT
WASHINGTON - A B.C. schoolgirl was eliminated Thursday from the Scripps National Spelling Bee while her Newfoundland co-competitor is carrying on.
Twelve-year-old Mignon Tsai of Abbotsford, B.C., was tripped up by the word "macropodid" during the nail-biter of a semifinal. Jennifer Mong of St. John's, N.L., meantime, nailed the spelling of "lymphopoiesis."
The girls were among 50 competitors to make it to the semifinals following two days of often tense competition that saw spelling bee officials challenge them with progressively more difficult words as the contest proceeded.
Many of those words, with origins in foreign languages, would confound adult Mensa members, and yet most of the schoolchildren approached the microphone with poise and confidence.
Almost all of them asked the spelling bee's host a series of questions about the origin of their word and its definition, and then gamely attempted to spell it right.
As Round Four of the competition that got underway Thursday morning, Tsai took to the stage to spell "oxyacetylene" correctly, while Mong aced "berserker."