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Two of the Bay area's best spellers are competing at the National Spelling Bee this week.

They're among 281 spellers from all 50 states, its territories, as well as the Bahamas, Jamaica, Japan, South Korea, and Canada.

Alexander Manning is an 8th grader from Lakeland Highlands Middle School in Lakeland. He likes computer programming and designing video games.

He says Bill Gates is his role model.

The other competitor is 6th grader Riju Datta from Corbett Preparatory School in Tampa. He says when he's not spelling, he's planning tennis or swimming.

Datta recently won his Corbett's National Geographic Bee.

The preliminary competition will be nationally televised starting tomorrow morning on ESPN 3.

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