SANYA, China, Dec 1, 2007 (AFP) – Pre-contest favourite Miss China won the Miss World 2007 title in her own country late Saturday, much to the delight of the audience, in front of an estimated two billion viewers around the globe. As well as being held on World AIDS Day, Miss World 2007 came a week after Chinese state media reported hotels in Beijing have been ordered to stock condoms in every room in response to a spike in new HIV infections in the capital.
Twenty-three-year-old Zhang Zilin was crowned the winner in Sanya, China. Miss Angola came second and Miss Mexico third at the beauty pageant, held on the southern holiday island of Hainan, dubbed China’s answer to Hawaii.
Viewers in 200 countries were expected to tune in to watch the show, which saw Miss China take the crown ahead of 105 of the world’s most beautiful and talented women.
The audience in the 2,000-capacity Beauty Crown Theatre, specially built for when Sanya first hosted the event in 2003, roared in delight as Zhang was crowned the winner at the end of the two-hour-long contest, which was conducted mainly in English.
The secretary from Beijing was the pre-contest