Beating out contestants from across the world, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters has won the Miss Universe crown in the US city of Las Vegas. It is the first time since 1978 that South Africa has claimed the title.
South Africa's Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters won the Miss Universe crown held in Las Vegas on Sunday.
"As Miss Universe, you have to be confident in who you are as an individual. And Miss Universe is a woman who has overcome many fears, and by that she is able to help to help many women overcome their fears," Nel-Peters said during the "Final Word" segment of the competition.
"She is a woman that nothing is ever too much to ask for. And I think that is exactly who I am."
Nel-Peters' victory marks the first time since 1978 that South Africa has claimed the Miss Universe title. She was bestowed with the crown by last year's winner, Iris Mittenaere from France.
Miss Colombia Laura Gonzalez was named runner-up, while Miss Jamaica Davina Bennett was dubbed second runner-up.
It was the the pageant's 66th year and included nearly 100 women from around the world. First time entrants included Cambodia, Laos and Nepal.
ls/aw (AP, AFP)