Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Megan Young crowned Miss World

Megan Young waves after winning the Miss World contest (AP)

Miss Philippines, Megan Young, has been crowned Miss World amid tight security on Indonesia's resort island of Bali, where the contest's final round was moved following protests by Muslim hard-liner groups.

"I promise to be the best Miss World ever," Ms Young, 23, said after winning the 63rd annual event.

Despite threats from the Islamic Defenders Front to disrupt the contest, police said no rallies were staged on Saturday.

The group has demonstrated for weeks, calling for the government to cancel the pageant because members say it shows too much skin and goes against Islamic teachings.

The 127 contestants vying for the crown were introduced on Saturday wearing evening gowns shimmering in sequins. Four candidates dropped out earlier, mainly due to illnesses, said one of the local organisers.

Young, who took the crown from Wenxia Yu of China, the 2012 winner, was born in the United States. When she was 10 she moved to the Philippines, where she has appeared in films and as a television host.

Miss France, Marine Lorphelin, 20, took second place, while Miss Ghana, Carranzar Naa Okailey Shooter, 22, came in third.

Miss World organisers had earlier agreed to cut bikinis from the swimsuit competition, replacing them with more conservative sarongs. But pressure continued to mount, and more mainstream groups joined in and called for the show to be banned.

Indonesia's government announced three weeks ago that the final would be moved from the outskirts of the capital, Jakarta, and instead held on the Hindu-dominated resort island of Bali, where earlier rounds were taking place.

The British, Australian and US embassies issued warnings to citizens planning trips to Bali during the competition, saying there could be large-scale protests or even attacks.

Col R Umar Faroq, the director of vital security for Bali provincial police, said thousands of security forces had been deployed to secure the final, adding: "The success in securing the Miss World final will be a benchmark for the police in securing the incoming APEC Summit", referring to the upcoming Asia-Pacific Cooperation summit on Bali to be attended by world leaders, including President Barack Obama, and thousands of delegates.

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