Minn. teen leads U.S. geography team to world championship win


The United States won the 11th National Geographic World Geography Championship Wednesday under the guidance of a sharp 15-year-old from Sartell, Minn.

The St. Cloud Times reports two-time state geo bee champion Gopi Ramanathan, who will be a sophomore at Sartell High School this fall, served as team captain at the competition in St. Petersburg, Russia.

A total of 18 teams compete for the world title. Team USA, which also included 13-year-old Asha Jain of Minocqua, Wis. and 14-year-old Neelam Sandhu of Bedford, N. H., beat out Canada and India in the final round for the win.

“I’m still trying to process it and what that means,” Ramanathan told the newspaper. “[the world competition] is different from any other geo bee I’ve been in. It was very fun.”

Ramanathan told the Times this was his last geography bee and he'll shift his focus to high school and college.

"I’m not even sure if I will major in geography,” he said.

The National Geographic World Championship takes place every two years, WJON reports. Russia won the competition in 2011.

This is the sixth win for the United States since the world championship started in 1993.

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