Although he made it to the final two,Alberta'sNate Gartke lost Thursdayin the championship of the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.

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Nate Gartke speaks with CBC-TV from Washington on Friday. ((CBC))

The 13-year-oldfrom Spruce Grovemisspelled the word "coryza" — an acute inflammatory, contagious disease involving the upper respiratory tract.

Another 13-year-old, Evan O'Dorney of Danville, Calif., won after correctly spelling "serrefine" — a small forceps for clamping a blood vessel.

Gartke was one of three Canadians who made it to the finals.

Cody Wang, 13, of Calgary, got stumped in the first round of the finals by apozem, a liquid preparation made by boiling medicinal plants with water.

And Anqi Dong, 12, from Saskatoon, missed on bouleuterion, an ancient Greek council chamber.

Earlier,Soohyun Park, ofToronto, was bumped out after incorrectly spelling "croquis" (a quick and sketchy drawing of a live model) as "croquille."

Previously, Wanghadnailed "leggieramente," a musical term meaning "lightly," to make itinto the final round.

Gartke had successfully spelled "leucoryx," a kind of antelope found in North Africa.

Dong also aced the word "otate," a bamboo-type plant.

The contest started out with 286 competitors, including a group of 20 Canadians, but the Canadian group began to dwindle as one by one, students tripped on words such as "trypanosomiasis" (an infection caused by a trypanosome).

The final 59 contestants advanced toThursday's semifinals,whichwhittled the field down to just 15 competitors.

Two Canadians were knocked out in Round 5. Chris Stanbridge of St. John's misspelled "melotrope" as "mellotrope," and Hailey Unger of Vancouver stumbled on "impuissance," offering the spelling "impuiscence."

Favourite knocked out

One of the favourites to win this year was Samir Patel, 13, from Colleyville, Texas, who madehis fifth and final appearance in the bee. He unexpectedly fell in Round5 at the hands of the word "clevis," which he mistakenly spelled as "clevice." (That's a type offastening device.)

The Texan boy's mother appealed his dismissal, but officials rejected the appeal Thursday afternoon.

"It was an easy word. I just made a stupid mistake," Samir told reporters covering the event.

Samir charmed the audience with a stunning third-place finish as a super-confident nine-year-old four years ago, demonstrating a vocabulary beyond his years and charisma to match.

Then, in 2004, he stumbled on the word "corposant" and finished tied for 27th. He came close in 2005, but was flummoxed by "Roscian" and placed second.

Last year, the audience gasped in shock when he failed to spell "eremacausis," forcing him to settle for a tie for 14th.

Those taking part in the contest included 139 boys and 147 girls. This year's gendersplit was typical of those in previous years.

With files from the Associated Press