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Last Updated: Saturday, 4 December, 2004, 16:23 GMT
Miss Peru wins world beauty title
Miss Peru
Miss Peru beat more than 100 other contestants
Miss Peru, Maria Julia Mantilla Garcia, has been crowned Miss World 2004 at a glittering event held in China.

Miss Dominican Republic Claudia Julissa Cruz Rodriguez was runner-up, and Miss USA Nancy Randall came third.

Miss Peru beat 106 contestants to take the crown from 2003 winner, Miss Ireland, Rosanna Davison, the daughter of singer Chris de Burgh.

This was the first time audiences could take part, voting by phone, SMS messaging, interactive TV and online.

Wearing a turquoise gown, the 20-year-old winner - who says she wants to be a high school teacher - blew kisses as she collected the crown and a prize of $100,000.

"I'm very surprised but I'm also very happy," she told reporters afterwards.

She said she wanted to do charitable work as Miss World and "help all the people that I can", the Associated Press quoted her as saying.

Popular event

Miss Wales - trainee architect Amy Guy, 21, of Wrexham - was one of the finalists in Saturday night's finals, having won the sport competition earlier in the week.

Miss Mexico, Miss Antigua and Miss Australia also made it into the last 15.

Singer Lionel Ritchie poses with Miss Chinese Taipei (Taiwan) Yi Hui Xu, left, and Miss China Yang Jin

US singer Lionel Ritchie performed at the event, which was hosted by British model Lisa Snowdon, Hong Kong TV host Angela Chow and a former US reality TV contestant Troy McClain.

The judging panel included West Indian cricket legend Sir Viv Richards.

This is the second year running that Sanya town, on the southern tip of China's Hainan Island, has hosted Miss World, which is fast becoming the event of the year for residents.

The area saw an increase in tourism following last year's event, and Miss World organiser Julia Morley has said the contest will return next year.

China only lifted a ban on beauty contests shortly before the 2003 event.

The event had to be moved from Nigeria to London in 2002 after sparking sectarian violence.



SEE ALSO:
China's Hainan set for Miss World
01 Dec 04 |  Asia-Pacific
Beautician eyes Miss World glory
04 Dec 04 |  Merseyside
Miss World goes for makeover
07 Dec 02 |  UK News
China chosen for Miss World pageant
10 Dec 02 |  Asia-Pacific
China unveils Olympic logo
03 Aug 03 |  Asia-Pacific
Chinese woman seeks perfect beauty
24 Jul 03 |  Asia-Pacific


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