New Jersey teen Navneeth Murali wins South Asian Spelling Bee

Navneeth Murali, winner of the South Asian Spelling Bee, with his family and Jaideep Janakiram, left, Head of North America, Sony Entertainment Television-Asia and Rahul Walia, founder of the South Asian Spelling Bee, right, at the finals held Aug. 9 at Royal Albert’s Palace in Fords, N.J.

Navneeth Murali, 13 of Edison, New Jersey, correctly spelled the word “flipe” meaning to strip off by or as if by peeling,” during the 2019 South Asian Spelling Bee finals to clinch the title of national champion and took home a cash prize of $3,000. The spelling bee finals were held Aug. 9 at Royal Albert’s Palace in Fords, New Jersey.

Hephzibah Sujoe, 13 of Fort Worth, Texas, along with Pranav Nandakumar, 13 of Austin Texas, and Vayun Krishna, 12 of Sunnyvale, California, tied for the runner-up position.

The event was organized Touchdown Media Inc., a New Jersey-based advertising firm. Sony Entertainment Television Asia will broadcast the bee across the globe in over 120 countries.

“It fills my heart to see such talented young spellers from across the country who make us proud as a community, SASB founder Rahul Walia said.

“The initiative is unique in its reach and engagement and with the help of the SAS-Bee program, we were able to give even more spellers the opportunity to win it all and raise the bar even higher.”

The bee was open to children up to 14 years of age and was held in 5 regional centers across the country.

Over 600 spellers from these centers participated from which 15 finalists took the stage on Aug. 9.

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