THE fifth season of the RHB New Straits Times National Spell-It-Right (SIR) Challenge passed the midway mark with the completion of the Penang rounds last weekend.
Sixteen youngsters from Pahang, Perak, Negri Sembilan, Sarawak, Malacca, Sabah, Selangor and Penang have secured their seats at the National Challenge happening in Kuala Lumpur in July.
Among them are veterans and state champions who have successfully defended their titles such as Kenneth Wu Min Jin (three-time Negri Sembilan secondary winner), Ahmad Ihdhar Kamaludin (formerly Sarawak and current Perak secondary victor) and Prishanth Linggaraj (reigning Penang secondary spelling king).
While some sailed to a flawless victory, others had to do battle with rivals through gruelling tiebreakers to get the top spot.
The pictures here show what they had to go through to earn their places at the nationals.
The SIR Challenge is on break for the school holidays. It will start again on June 15 and 16 in Kedah and Terengganu.