Vanessa Ponce de Leon from Mexico was crowned Miss World 2018 on Saturday, December 8, in Sanya, China.
Miss World 2017 Manushi Chhillar from India passed on the coveted crown to the 26-year-old model at the 68th annual Miss World grand ceremony.
The finale – hosted by Megan Young, Barney Walsh, Angela Chow, Fernando Allende, and Stephanie Del Valle was all about the sub contest winners who were fast – tracked into the Top 30 of the pageant. The Top 30 included the delegates from Uganda, Chile, Thailand, Mauritius, Venezuela, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Mexico, India, Bangladesh, France, Japan, United States, New Zealand, Nepal, Vietnam, Indonesia, Belarus, Cook Islands, Nigeria, Belgium, Northern Ireland, Russia, Scotland, South Africa, Panama, Jamaica, Barbados and Martinique.
The next phase was followed by the Top 12 that were decided on the basis of continents. From Europe it was France, Belarus and Scotland, who made the cut and from the Caribbean it was Jamaica, and Martinique.
From America it was Panama and Mexico who made the cut while Africa had Uganda and Mauritius with Nepal, Thailand and New Zealand making it from Asia and Oceania.
The host of the evening then announced the Miss World continental winners and the ladies who made the cut were Jamaica – Miss World Caribbean, Belarus – Miss World Europe, Mexico – Miss World America, Uganda – Miss World Africa, and Thailand – Miss World Asia and Oceania.
The announcement of the continental winners was followed by the Q and A with the shortlisted Top 5.
Vanessa bagged the coveted title after answering a question on how she would use her influence as Miss World to help others?
Vanessa’s winning answer was, “I would use my position just as I have been doing for the past three years – being an example. We all can be an example of good in the world. We all have to care, we have to love, we all have to be kind. It doesn’t cost a thing and helping is not hard. You just have to go out there and there will always be someone who needs what you have to offer. So, help anyone you can.”
Ponce who began her career as a contestant on cycle 5 of Mexico’s next top model in 2014, also has a degree in international business, volunteers for “Migrantes en el Camino” and is on the board of directors of a rehab centre for girls, according to the Miss World website.
First runner up was Thailand’s Nicolene Pichapa Limsnukan, a 20-year-old studying business.
It is the eighth time the Miss World final has been held in Sanya, which first hosted the pageant in 2003.