Washington: Zaila Avant-garde, a 14-year-old basketball genius, has won the 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee, displaying the first African-American nominee to triumph in 93 versions of the prestigious championship.
Indian-Americans, who have dominated the National Spelling Bee for times, had to fill the 2nd and 3rd spots.
Chaitra Thummala, a 12-year-old from San Francisco, including Bhavana Madini, 13, from New York, acquired the second and third place at the keenly-fought contest, which US First Lady Jill Biden visited.
Avant-garde accurately spelled "Murraya"- a genus of tropical Asiatic and Australian trees with pinnate leaves and flowers to triumph over the competition and USD 50,000 prize money on Thursday.
"It was the smile and twirls for us! After trying for 370th place in 2019, #Speller133 Zaila Avant-garde wins the 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee. Congrats to all of our spellers. We're proud of everyone's poise and courage in facing the dictionary. #SpellingBee #TheBeeIsBack," Scripps National Spelling Bee tweeted following the contest, which was not held last year due to the enraged COVID-19 pandemic.
Jill Biden congratulated Avant-garde on her celebrated win. "Congratulations Zaila!!!," she tweeted.
It was the primary time since 2008 that at least one winner or co-champion of the Scripps National Spelling Bee was not of South Asian origin, the Associated Press published.