Ashburn boy makes Geography Bee finals


Akhil Rekulapelli of Ashburn has advanced to the final round of the National Geographic Bee. (FAMILY PHOTO)
May 21, 2013

Akhil Rekulapelli will travel the world on Wednesday without leaving Washington. The Ashburn 12-year-old is one of 10 finalists in the National Geographic Bee, taking place at the National Theatre.

Akhil won the Virginia bee, beating 99 others to earn a spot in the national event. On Monday, 54 fourth- to eighth-graders from across the country answered nine questions to try to thin the crowd to 10. It took several tie-breaking questions for Akhil to advance.

“The question that got me to the top 10 was ‘Bird’s Head Peninsula is the northern tip of what island?’ ”

The answer? It’s New Guinea, in the southwestern Pacific.

Akhil, who competed in the state bee for the past two years, says he doesn’t have a favorite geography topic. But he does have a dream destination: Switzerland. “I’d like to hike in the Alps, and they have really good chocolate,” he said.

Geography fans can watch the competition Thursday at 7 p.m. on the National Geographic Channel.

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