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L-r: David Raj, principal of Delhi Public School International Ghana; Barney Gallassio, pronouncer of the MetLife South Asian Spelling Bee; Shreshtha Arora, second runner-up; Anmol Daftary, first runner-up; Vishal Takwani, regional champion; Helen David, English teacher at DPSI Ghana; Rupam Kavi, associate producer of the South Asian Spelling Bee; and Mukesh Takwani, director of DPSI Ghana. (photo provided)

The 2016 MetLife South Asian Spelling Bee began its 13-city tour June 5 with its first-ever international regional in Accra, Ghana, a press release reported.

With an encouraging turnout, the event attracted top talent as well as young and new spellers that competed for the coveted prizes and titles for the first time.

“To see the talent prosper outside the shores of the U.S. is very heartwarming and encouraging for us,” said Rahul Walia, founder of the South Asian Spelling Bee.

In the Ghana regional, Vishal Thakwani, 13, of Tema, Ghana, spelled the word ‘saithe’ correctly to earn title of regional champion. Anmol Daftary, 12, of Tema, Ghana, was the first runner-up, while Shreshita Arora, 11, of Accra, Ghana, was the second runner-up. This will be Thakwani’s second time making it to the finals of the South Asian Spelling Bee, as he was the first runner-up at the Atlanta regional in 2015.

The winners received cash prizes of $300, $200 and $100, respectively.

Both Thakwani and Daftary will be traveling to New Jersey in August for the finals, where they and 24 other children will compete for the title of national champion and the chance to win $10,000.

This year’s South Asian Spelling Bee is proudly presented by Britannia Industries Limited, India’s leading food company and marketer of cookies, dairy products and bread.Kawan Food, the world’s most popular roti paratha brand, returns as the powered by sponsor. As always, SONY Entertainment Television Asia is the exclusive broadcast partner for the South Asian Spelling Bee and will be airing the series across 120 countries.

Children up to 14 years of age are eligible to participate, and the contest saw spellers as young as six years of age compete and make it past a few rounds.

For more information and to register your child, please visit: www.SouthAsianSpellingBee.com.

The top two winners from every city will be given an all-expenses-paid trip to New Jersey Aug. 5 for the finals.

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