Spanish beauty queen claims crown at Miss World pageant

Spanish beauty queen claims crown at Miss World pageant

SANYA, China - Agence France-Presse
Spanish beauty queen claims crown at Miss World pageant

Mireia Lalaguna Rozo of Spain (C) smiles after winning the new title of the Miss World at the Grand Final in Sanya, in southern China's Hainan province on December 19, 2015. Contestants from over 110 countries compete in the final of the 65th Miss World Competition. / AFP / JOHANNES EISELE

Spanish model Mireia Lalaguna was crowned Miss World 2015 after beating out 113 contestants from across the globe on Dec. 19 night at a coastal resort city in south China’s Hainan Province.

The pharmacy student from Barcelona claimed the illustrious crown after winning over the contest’s judges during the 65th edition of the world famous pageant in China’s Sanya.

“Without the love I have received from all of the people I have met here, and from all of the people wishing me well and supporting me at home, I would never have gotten to this point,” said the beauty queen, according to a statement released by the event’s organizers.

“I want to show them and the world that I am deserving of the Miss World title and I hope to do everyone proud.”

The pageant’s second place was awarded to Russia’s Sofia Nikitchuk, while third place went to Indonesia’s Maria Harfanti.

However, the ceremony was not without controversy. Officials in Hong Kong last month stopped Miss Canada, Anastasia Lin, from boarding a plane bound for Sanya, telling her she would not receive a visa.

The 25-year old actress claimed the decision was due to her stance on China’s human rights record, including its persecution of Falun Gong, a Chinese spiritual group of which she is a practitioner.