Ananya Augustine, Georgia’s 2021 Spelling Bee Champion, made it to the Semifinals of this year’s Scripps National Spelling Bee, before being eliminated from the competition last night.

The 13-year-old from Henry County, misspelled the word colmatage, spelling it as “calmettage”.

Despite the loss, Augustine is still one of the top 30 spellers in the nation after tying for 21st in the competition. The Georgia Association of Educators (GAE) congratulated Augustine on her efforts in a Facebook post, and noted that she will be in the competition next year.

“GAE is so proud of Ananya and her efforts during this very different year with the Scripps National Bee. Although she missed the word “colmatage,” she is still one of the top 30 spellers in the nation and she will be back again next year as an eighth-grader. Congratulations Ananya!”

This year’s Spelling Bee was different from years past for multiple reasons. One of the first being the virtual format of the competition and a new addition to the competition, word meaning rounds.

Along with having to spell words, the competitors also had to identify the meaning of words, having to choose between answers that were arranged in a multiple choice format. This helped to add a different dynamic to the competition and it most likely eliminated some competitors who may have not been ready for it. 

Another notable event from the competition was seeing 13-year-old Sophia Lopez (from Dayton, Ohio), experience technical difficulties because there was a power outage in her city. Even though Lopez got eliminated from the competition, the announcers noted that she still showed grit and determination to push through what had to be such a nerve wracking experience during the competition.

The Spelling Bee Finals will be in person and will be held in the Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort, on July 8th from 8-10 p.m. ET. The finals can be seen on ESPN2 and ESPNU.

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