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15 Dec, 2008 03:38

Siberian beauty crowned Miss World

Ksenia Sukhinova from Siberia has been crowned the new Miss World in a glamorous show in Johannesburg, South Africa. The 21-year-old student from the Tyumen region beat 109 rivals.

First runner-up was Trinidad and Tobago’s Gabrielle Walcott followed by India’s Parvathy Omanakuttan as second runner-up. The other two finalists were from South Africa and Angola.

More than one billion viewers across the world – a record number – watched the contest's finals on TV.

Born in Nizhnevartovsk, Ksenia moved with her parents to the city of Tyumen, where she won the Miss Tyumen title. Later she was crowned Russia’s beauty queen.

Coming from the region known for its oil industry, Ksenia chose oil and gas studies for her degree.

She’s a big fan of sports, and has been doing calisthenics, swimming and biathlon since childhood.

The young beauty started modelling for designers in her home town in her teens. Soon she hit the international fashion shows in Paris.

Russian models are popular in the international fashion industry. But many experts say that it's quite rare for winners of beauty competitions, even international ones like Miss World or Miss Universe, to become fashion stars.

However, Ksenia Sukhinova is already a successful model and believes her triumph in Miss World will only enhance her chances of becoming a top name in the fashion world.

Tatyana Koltsova, the founder of Red Stars, the first ever soviet model agency, says Ksenia has the skills and the talent to become a global fashion star.

“Usually Miss World's looks are so recognisable that you can't change her image. But a model's face has to serve as a canvas for designers, stylists, photographers and others. And I think Ksenia has the potential to become a real top fashion model”.

The Miss World beauty pageant was created in 1951 in Britain. Its main rivals are Miss Universe and the Miss Earth competitions.

Since its launch the Miss World Organisation has raised nearly 400 million dollars for children’s charities.

Ksenia Sukhinova says raising funds for charity will be one her main tasks next year.

She is the second Russian to win the prestigious Miss World title. In 1992 the contest was one by Yulia Kurochkina from the Moscow region, while Oksana Fyodorova won Miss Universe title in 2002.