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Jamaican speller drops out of Scripps competition

Published:Thursday | May 26, 2016 | 12:11 PM
Chaunte Blackwood

Jamaica's Chaunte Blackwood was eliminated in Round Five of the Scripps National Spelling Bee today.

The 13-year-old misspelt the word photophygous, defined as preferring or thriving in shade.

Four spellers have been eliminated in Round Five, including Ghana's Afua Ansah.

Ansah and Blackwood's departures mean that there will be no International winner this year, as there was in 1998 when Jamaica's Jody-Anne Maxwell placed first in the competition.

Thirteen spellers remain. 

Spellers from Jamaica have been competing in the Scripps National Spelling Bee for 20 years.

Blackwood is coached by Hanif Brown, a former national champion who competed at Scripps in 2011 and a sixth-former at Ardenne High.

Brown took over coaching after the 2015 death of legendary award-winning coach The Reverend Glen Archer.

He had to leave the competition to take an exam today, which could not be rescheduled.