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Twice a champion

For the second year in a row, Maxim Ralchenko of Ottawa has won the Geography Challenge national final. The 14-year old high school student beat out 41 other finalists from every Canadian province and territory in the online competition held in May by the Canadian Council for Geographic Education.

Ralchenko, who lists geography among his favourite subjects, was a member of the Canadian team that placed third last year at the National Geographic World Championship in San Diego, California (“The inside story,” CG Nov/Dec 2007).

Graham Tompkins, 15, of Dartmouth, N.S., took second place after a gruelling three rounds of questions to break a four-way tie. Daniel Austin-Boyd, 14, of Toronto placed third.

National finalists from the 2008 and 2009 Challenges will be eligible to compete for a spot on Team Canada for the 2009 World Championship, at a location yet to be determined.

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