Miss South Africa crowned Miss World

Miss South Africa, 22-year-old Rolene Strauss, was crowned Miss World 2014 at the pageant's final in London on Sunday, with an estimated billion viewers watching on television around the globe.

Miss Hungary, Edina Kulcsar, was the runner-up and Miss United States, Elizabeth Safrit, came third in the 64th annual competition, contested by women from 121 countries.

Miss South Africa Rolene Strauss reacts as she is named Miss World 2014, during the finale of the competition at the ExCel centre in London on Sunday. The medical student clasped her hands together in surprise and was crowned by the outgoing Miss World, Megan Young of the Philippines, before a fireworks finale.

"South Africa this is for you," Strauss said afterwards. "I think I will brace myself for what's about to happen. It's a huge responsibility."

Miss India Koyal Rana parades during the grand finale.

Sunday's show started with a spectacular choreographed dance routine, with all the contestants shimmering on stage in costumes inspired by their homelands, including Miss Bolivia in a colourful giant feathered headdress.

Miss Scotland led the contestants in a Highland Fling, a traditional Scottish dance, before Miss United States performed a cowgirl routine.

While beauty remains central to the event, the women taking part are also judged on their brains, skills and involvement in good causes.

In the Beauty with a Purpose round, contestants present a charitable project they have been working on in their homeland. The event also featured a special award for 1994's Miss World, Bollywood star Aishwarya Rai.

The 41-year-old Indian actress appeared on stage with her film star husband Abhishek Bachchan, their daughter Aaradhya and her mother.

The prize was for the "Dhoom 2" star's charitable work since being rocketed to fame by Miss World.

The 10 contestants who topped the final scoreboard were, in descending order, from

  • India
  • South Africa
  • England
  • Guyana
  • Brazil
  • Hungary
  • Kenya
  • United States
  • Mexico 
  • Australia

They were joined by Miss Thailand, who won the people's choice award, voted for by people around the world through a mobile phone app.

Miss World began in 1951, a year before its chief rival Miss Universe.

As well as Rai, previous finalists include US actress Halle Berry in 1986.

It returns to Bali in Indonesia for the 2015 final.


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