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Miss South Africa Rolene Strauss was crowned the 64th Miss World at the competition on Sunday. The final day of the London-based event wrapped up three weeks of challenges for the contestants, including a talent contest and a debate at the Oxford Union. Strauss won over 121 other contestants from around the globe.
Runners up for the title were Miss Hungary Edina Kulcsar, who placed second, and Miss United States Elizabeth Safrit, who took third place.
Strauss, 22, was awarded the crown from Miss World 2013, Megan Young of the Philippines. This was the first year that a reigning Miss World co-hosted the show. Her co-host was Tim Vincent. The pink- and blue-bejeweled crown was a perfect complement to the pale pink gown Strauss wore.
The daughter of a doctor and a nurse, Strauss is a fourth-year medical student at the University of the Free State. She credits her family with helping her shape the person she is today, saying her father inspired her interest in medicine. When she won the title Miss South Africa in March, she put her studies on hold to pursue the Miss World competition.
Miss South Africa looks forward to helping with charitable causes in her new role. In her introduction video for the competition, she mentions former South African President Nelson Mandela as a catalyst in her pursuit for a career in medicine.
She also mentions Miss World CEO Julia Morley, who founded "Beauty With a Purpose," a nonprofit that assists Miss World contestants in their charitable endeavors. Contestants who participate in the "Beauty With a Purpose" challenge can win points toward their final score.
Some of the causes that Strauss has focused on as Miss South Africa include promoting women’s rights and education. Strauss is the third South African to be crowned Miss World.
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