South Africa’s Rolene Strauss, 22, won the Miss World 2014 title at the gala held Sunday evening in London, a contest in which candidates from 121 countries participated.
The first runner-up was Hungary’s Edina Kulcsar, 23, and the second runner-up was 22-year-old Elizabeth Safrit of the United States.
Miss Australia, Courtney Thorpe, and host Miss England, Carina Tyrrell, were the other two finalists.
The brunette South African stands 1.77 meters (5 ft. 10 inches), is a medical student and succeeds Megan Young, the beauty of Filipino descent who was crowned last year’s Miss World in Bali, Indonesia.
The 64th edition of the event, where the competing young women modeled different traditional garments, was held at the Excel Expositions Center, in the western part of the British capital.
The new Miss World, besides spending a year visiting different projects around the world for charitable purposes, will travel to Honduras to help build a school in Santa Barbara, the birthplace of Maria Jose Alvarado, Miss Honduras 2014, who was murdered along with her sister a few weeks ago in the Central American country.
Strauss is the third South African to win the Miss World title, after Penelope Anne Coelen in 1948 and Anneline Kriel in 1974.
An estimated 1 billion people around the world watched the gala broadcast on Sunday night.