MISS WORLD PAGENT: SANYA, Hainan- Miss Thailand named Miss World runner-up to Mexico as Miss World.

Miss Thailand Nicolene Pichapa Limsnukan (left) applauds as Miss Mexico (seated) is crowned Miss World by last year’s winner, the former Miss India. (Photos Twitter/@MissWorldTime)


SANYA, Hainan: A Mexican model and volunteer was crowned Miss World at a glitzy event on the tropical Chinese island of Hainan on Saturday.

Nicolene Pichapa Limsnukan of Thailand won the title of Miss Asia, and was runner-up to Mexico as Miss World.

Miss Mexico Vanessa Ponce de Leon, 26, has a degree in international business, volunteers for “Migrantes en el Camino” and is on the board of directors of a rehab centre for girls, according to the Miss World website.

She was crowned as the 68th Miss World by last year’s winner, Manushi Chhillar of India, in the coastal city of Sanya.

The colourful ceremony included US group Sister Sledge performing their 1979 disco anthem We Are Family.

Runner-up Ms Nicolene won the Miss Thailand World pageant in Bangkok on Sept 15.

The five Miss World finalists pose with the 2017 winner, Miss India.


Born in California and raised by a single mum, the 20-year-old business student at the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce also finished in the Top 10 of the Miss Thailand Universe pageant last June. She has been a beauty pageant contestant since she was six, and in 2014, at 15 years old, won the Miss Teen Asia USA title.

Thailand never has won a Miss World title.

Miss Belarus Maria Vasilevich, Miss Jamaica Kadijah Robinson and Miss Uganda Quiin Abenakyo were also among the final five. They were named Miss Europe, Miss Americas and Miss Africa respectively.

It is the eighth time the Miss World final has been held in Sanya, capital of the island province of Hainan, which first hosted the pageant in 2003.

At the finals three years ago controversy erupted as officials in Hong Kong stopped Miss Canada, Anastasia Lin, from boarding a plane bound for Sanya, telling her she would not receive a visa.

The 25-year old actress claimed the decision was due to her stance on China’s human rights record, including its persecution of Falun Gong, a Chinese spiritual group of which she is a practitioner.


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