It was the first time the competitor showed any visible nerves. As he faced the pronouncer — inquiring about the origin and grammatical usage of the word that could be his undoing — his voice sped up and rose slightly in pitch.
He took a breath, presumably to regain his composure. Then the eight-year-old delivered the crushing blow.
“C-A-V-I-A-R, caviar,” said Zakhar Husak (inset), a wide gap-toothed grin spreading over his face as the clapping and cheering from the crowd sealed his victory.
Yesterday Zakhar beat out 28 children, between the ages of 6 and 8, to be crowned champion of the primary division at the Spelling Bee of Canada, 22nd Annual Championship Finals.
In the primary category Niu Niu Wang from Windsor came in second and Toronto’s Neharika Nair, both 8, brought up the rear taking third place.
The winner admitted throughout the competition he “was very nervous,” when asked what words were the hardest to spell he said, “it was Banyan.”
Zakhar is home schooled and comes from a family of spelling champions.