Indian-origin boy sweeps Australian spelling bee contest

Melborune: Anirudh Kathirvel, a nine-year-old Indian-origin boy is Australia's new spelling champion after he won the 50,000 dollars 'The Great Australian Spelling Bee' competition.

Kathirvel, born in Melbourne to a Tamilian couple won 50,000 dollars education scholarship along with an impressive
10,000 dollars worth goods for his school yesterday.

Anirudh said he could not believe his luck after winning the scholarship and asked his fellow spellers to "pinch" him.

"I need to rub my eyes and see if this is a dream," he said adding "Nope.Nope.Nope.Real. I can't describe it. It's
like the best day of my life."

Anirudh said his favourite word to spell was 'euouae' as he liked the structure of the word as it was the longest word with consecutive vowels.

"Some of the other words I like to spell are feuilleton, cephalalgia, ombrophobous," he said adding that he loves
watching Indian movies.

Anirudh, whose parents Prithiviraj and Sujatha also migrated to Australia from Tamil Nadu 16 years ago, said, "I
started reading from the age of two and slowly my reading passion evolved into my love for words. My parents encouraged and helped me to build up on my spelling."

"My first spelling competition was when I was in grade 1. But my first year in the spelling competition was challenging.

"Gradually my confidence increased and I was pushing my spelling abilities to its limits. That's how my spelling
journey has begun," he added. He also can read, write and speak Tamil apart from English. For him spelling practice has been his everyday routine and he said that he try and learn at least 10 new words per day.

"I research those words, find their meaning, their origin & the roots and their synonyms. I also practice my spelling on the different spelling apps," Anirudh, who wants to be a neuroscientist, said.

"I am fascinated with the human body. The working of the brain is so complex. This created a great interest and I want to learn more & more about the brain.

There are a lot of unanswered questions when it comes to brain diseases like Alzheimer's or schizophrenia. I want to
look for those answers and help those people who suffer from those conditions. I want to be a neuroscientist," he said.

Four Indian-origin children participated in the contest with another Indian-origin girl Harpita, 8, emerging in the
top five finalists.

A total of 50 finalists were picked from over 3,000 children across Australia who had applied to be part of the
upcoming TV show of Channel Ten that kicked off last month.

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