SINGAPORE: The first annual Asian spelling competition saw Singapore and Malaysian primary and secondary students emerge as champions at the Asia Spelling Cup on Saturday.
Elizabeth Yong Shi En from Singapore and Kenneth Wu Min Jin from Malaysia walked away with the championship title for the Primary and Secondary categories respectively.
Both winners beat 19 other finalists in a scintillating three-hour competition with each taking home the grand prize of US$5,000 and a Samsung Tablet Samsung Galaxy Note 8.
Finalists competed in one-hour elimination rounds where they were asked to spell a series of words.
Incorrect spelling saw participants instantly eliminated and successful participants continuing on to the next level.
The winners eventually emerged after 10 levels, having to spell more than 10 words.
"We are delighted about the success of this first edition of Asia Spelling Cup. Due to the great response we will be expanding the contest to include students from more countries including India, Myanmar and Pakistan for next year's Spelling Cup in Bali," said David Topolewski, chief executive officer of the event's organiser Qooco.
Runner up for primary category, Michael Anil Naratnam from Malaysia and third placed Samuel Abraham Tang from Indonesia, walked away with US$2,500 and US$1,500 and a Samsung Tablet respectively.
For the secondary category, the runner up was Amanda Ngu Teng Teng from Malaysia and third was Kowsalya Ganesan from Singapore.
The Asia Spelling Cup saw 19 finalists representing four countries from the Asia Pacific region: China, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore.
Preliminary rounds were held via the local Spelling Bee competitions, online or via the Qooco app over a month, attracting over 100,000 participants.
Top scorers from each country's leader board were flown to Singapore to compete in the finals.
Qooco is a leading mobile education technology company specialising in spoken English and Mandarin learning solutions.
The regional event is sponsored by Samsung, Lotte, Volvo Financial Services, Singapore Slingers, the WholeTree Foundation and Nikko Hotel Bali. - Bernama