An Indian medical student has been crowned Miss World making her country the joint-most successful nation in the pageant’s history.
20-year-old Manushi Chhillar, an Indian medical student, was crowned the winner by last year’s winner, Stephanie del Valle, of Puerto Rico, following a glamorous event in the Chinese city of Sanya.
Miss Chhillar is a trained Indian classical dancer who enjoys painting and according to the Miss World website, hopes to open a chain of non-profit hospitals in rural areas.
— Miss World (@MissWorldLtd) November 18, 2017
Her win means India and Venezuela have both won the competition a record six times each over the course of the competition’s 67-year history.
Following her success, she thanked all of her fans for their constant love and support.
Manohar Lal Khattar, the minister of her home state of Haryana, also came out to congratulate her win, as did President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former Miss World-turned-actor Priyanka Chopra:
Best wishes to Manushi Chhillar for winning the Miss World title. May this inspire every young woman in our country to achieve her dreams, in whichever field she chooses
— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) November 19, 2017
— sushmita sen (@thesushmitasen) November 18, 2017
Congratulations @ManushiChhillar! India is proud of your accomplishment.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) November 18, 2017
Congratulations @ManushiChhillar #MissWorld2017
on becoming Miss World 2017 and making the whole country proud. Haryana girls rocking it on world stage. Haryana Power,India Power. pic.twitter.com/0bVHnaqYJq
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) November 18, 2017
Andrea Meza, from Mexico, was the first runner-up, while Stephanie Hill, from England, came third.
This is the fifth time in ten years China have held the Miss World pageant, although the competition hasn’t always ran so smoothly.
During the last competition held in Sanya, officials in Hong Kong stopped Miss Canada, Anastasia Lin, from boarding a plane heading to Hainan Island, saying she would not receive a visa.
Miss Lin, who was born in China, was banned from competing in 2015 – it’s widely suspected she was refused entry due to her advocacy of human rights in China and choice of film roles.
Chinese immigration officials gave no reason for refusing her a visa but the Chinese embassy in Canada reportedly declared:
China does not allow any persona non grata to come to China.
It’s reported Chinese officials and state security agents visited and threatened her father in China because of her activism and that they attempted to make him sever all contact with her.
Lin wrote in an op-ed in The Washington Post:
Shortly after my victory, my father started receiving threats from Chinese security agents complaining about my human rights advocacy.
No doubt fearing for his livelihood and business, my father asked me to stop advocating for human rights. He told me that if I did not stop, we would have to go our separate ways.
She didn’t compete in this year’s competition, with Canada represented by Cynthia Menard.