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Sunday, 5 December, 1999, 03:10 GMT
Miss India takes World Crown
Miss India A shocked Miss India is congratulated by a fellow contestant

Miss India carried off the Miss World title on Saturday beating 93 other contestants.

Yukta Mookhey, a 20-year-old zoology graduate, scooped the 60,000 top prize at a glittering ceremony at London's Olympia.

Miss Venezuela, Martina Thorogood, 24, was the runner-up, with Miss South Africa, Sonia Raciti, 21, clinching third place.

Miss World A busy year lies ahead for the winner
The graceful Miss India impressed the celebrity judging panel when she said she would like to have been born Hollywood film star Audrey Hepburn whom she admired for her "inner beauty, compassion and great aura".

She told the judges that her favourite dish was Thai food and that she would love to go to Paris.

She was crowned by her predecessor, Linor Abargil, 20, from Israel.

Despite emerging as a late favourite to win the crown, Miss UK Nicola Willoughby, 18, of Spalding, Lincolnshire, failed to make the final cut.

The reigning Miss UK,18-year-old Nicola Willoughby Miss UK, Nicola Willoughby, failed to make the final three
This week she narrowly escaped being thrown out of the competition after topless photographs of her appeared in a newspaper.

For the first time the event boasted contestants representing Scotland and Wales.

But Miss Scotland Stephanie Norrie from Cumbernauld, and Miss Wales, Clare Daniel from Swansea, 20, along with Dublin-born Miss Ireland Emir-Maria Doyle, 19, did not make it to the 10-strong semi-final.

However, the advent of Northern Ireland's new power sharing government means from next year a Miss Northern Ireland could appear in the contest.

Campaigners Women's rights campaigners protested about 'cattle market'
Miss Israel Genny Chervoney, an 18-year-old fashion model won the best evening wear title.

She was 12-1 joint favourite along with Miss Venezuela and Miss UK to win the overall crown.

However the contest attracted its usual fair share of criticism.

Women's rights campaigners gathered outside the competition venue to voice their protest.

About 20 people, waved placards which read "Stop this sexist cattle market" outside the competition venue.

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See also:
26 Nov 98 |  Entertainment
Miss World goes PC?
27 Nov 98 |  Entertainment
Linor cruises to Miss World title
15 Oct 99 |  Northern Ireland
NI loses out on Miss World entry

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