Three Canadians at spelling bee

Three Canadian schoolgirls are in the U.S. capital region this week to compete at the world-renowned Scripps National Spelling Bee. A year after a Canadian took second place at the famous contest, Jennifer Mong of St. John’s, N.L., Zhongtian Wang of Windsor, Ont., and Vancouver’s Mignon Tsai are among 278 competitors squaring off Wednesday night in the spelling bee’s preliminary round in National Harbor, Md.

WASHINGTON — Three Canadian schoolgirls are in the U.S. capital region this week to compete at the world-renowned Scripps National Spelling Bee.

A year after a Canadian took second place at the famous contest, Jennifer Mong of St. John’s, N.L., Zhongtian Wang of Windsor, Ont., and Vancouver’s Mignon Tsai are among 278 competitors squaring off Wednesday night in the spelling bee’s preliminary round in National Harbor, Md.

This year’s competition includes schoolkids not just from the U.S. and Canada, but from the Bahamas, China, Ghana, Jamaica, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea

They’ll take centre stage at the waterfront conference centre to spell out words that would confound most adults.

The 2012 contest also features its youngest-ever speller — six-year-old Lori Anne Madison from Woodbridge, Va. Most spellers at the bee are between the ages of 12 and 14 years old.

The contest began Tuesday as competitors took a computer quiz consisting of 50 words. Scores from half of those spellings are added to onstage spelling scores during Wednesday’s preliminary rounds; those total tallies determine who moves on to Thursday’s semi-final round.

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