14 December 2014
An estimated one billion viewers around the world watched as Miss South Africa – 22- year-old Rolene Strauss – was crowned Miss World 2014 at the pageant’s final in London on Sunday.
Miss Hungary Edina Kulcsar was the first runner-up, and Miss United States Elizabeth Safrit was second runner-up. The title was contested by women from 121 countries.
“South Africa, this is for you,” Strauss said in an interview after the pageant, CNN reported. “I’m so proud of you and I’m proud to be your representative.”
Strauss is the third South Africa to win Miss World. Penny Coelen won in 1958 and Anneline Kriel in 1974.
This year marks the annual competition’s 64th event. It was held at the ExCel exhibition centre in east London, was contested by women from 121 countries.
The event was presented by Tim Vincent and Megan Young, the first reigning Miss World to host her own final show.
Strauss, a medical student, clasped her hands together in surprise and was presented with the sash by Young.
“My country is my pride and my purpose has and will always lie within it,” Strauss said in her acceptance speech, saying she was both proud and humbled to have won.
In the build-up to the finale, the contestants took part in the Miss World Challenge Events in London. These included a sports, top model and beach fashion competition, a talent contest, Beauty with a Purpose and a debate at the Oxford Union.