8.10.2007

Mexican Team Dethrones U.S. at the National Geographic World Championship

SAN DIEGO - (AP -8.10.07) A trio of Mexican teenagers won the eighth National Geographic World Championship on Thursday, dethroning the United States, a four-time champion.

To win, they had to name the historic site that was carved from sandstone in 1200 B.C. and features two massive temples and statues of an ancient ruler. The teens nailed the answer - the Egyptian monument Abu Simbel.

"To win gold, it's really great," said team member Emanuel Johansen Campos, 15, of Tejalpa, Mexico. "I don't have any words."

The competition tests teenagers on geography, demographics and political history. Teams and individuals were asked to identify errors on maps, countries based on demographic statistics and the origin of tribal musical instruments and carved relics loaned by the San Diego Museum of Man.

It was the first finals appearance for Mexico. Johansen was joined by Carlos Franco Ruiz, 14, of Zapotlan de Juarez, north of Mexico City, and team captain Angel Aliseda Alonso, 16, of Guadalajara.