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MODEL VANESSA PONCE DE LEON [PHOTO | COURTESY]

Mexico bags Miss World crown as Kenya fails to replicate last year’s success

Kenya’s representative Finali Galaiya ended her journey early at Miss World 2018 as she failed to enter the Top 30 of the pageant held on December 8 in Sanya, China.

She, however, impressed in different categories, including Tourism Promotional Video, Multimedia and Beauty With a Purpose.

Model Vanessa Ponce de Leon, 26, of Mexico won the prestigious pageant, making history as the first candidate to win the title for her country.

Thailand’s Nicolene Pichapa Limsnukan finished as first runner-up, followed by beauty queens from Belarus, Jamaica and Uganda.

Ms de Leon, who has a bachelor’s degree in International Business and has worked as a model and TV host, takes over from Manushi Chhillar, a 21-year-old Indian model and the winner of the Miss World 2017 pageant.

The following countries produced Top 32 beauties in the 68th edition of the Miss World title: China, Barbados, Australia, Brazil, Belarus, Chile, France, Croatia, Germany, Greece, Guadeloupe, Italy, Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Nepal, New Zealand, Nigeria, Panama, Philippines, Russia, Poland, Serbia, Spain, South Africa, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Turkey, Belgium and Senegal.

This was further whittled down to the Top 12: Belarus, France, Scotland, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Mauritius, Uganda, Nepal, New Zealand and Thailand.

Uganda’s representative Quiin Abenakyo, 22, takes over from Kenya’s Magline Jeruto as Miss World Africa after she [Ms Abenakyo] emerged among the Top 5 models at the global beauty pageant.

Last Year, Ms Jeruto was the best African export to the pageant, placing fourth in the competition.

Uganda’s Abenakyo’s placement at the Miss World contest is the best representation Uganda has ever had in its history.

Kenya’s Finali Galaiya emerged the winner in the Sanya Tourism Promotional Video Award, beating China, Nepal, Puerto Rico and England in that order.

Ms Galaiya was also the second runner-up in the Multimedia category. Nepal’s Shrinkhala Khatiwada won this challenge.

The 23-year-old, Ms Galaiya, also placed in the Top 12 in the Beauty With A Purpose category.

Ms Galaiya, who completed a bachelor’s degree course in International Chattered Accounting this year, is the first Kenyan of Indian descent to represent Kenya at the beauty contest.

The Miss World 2018 pageant had 118 candidates pooled from different nations across the globe.

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