Miss Ireland wins world beauty crown

Miss Ireland has been crowned Miss World 2003, beating the Canadian and mainland Chinese contestants for the crown at the controversial annual beauty pageant.

    Dublin native Rosanna Davison is hailed as Miss China (L) looks on

    Rosanna Davison on Saturday came first at the contest, held for the first time in China.

    Davison, 19, is daughter of Lady in Red singer Chris de Burgh and comes from Dublin.

    The runner up was Canadian Nazanin Afshin-Jam, 24, and in third place was China's Qi Guan, 19.

    This year's contest, held in the resort town of Sanya in tropical southern Hainan province, saw 106 beauty queens parade their looks and talents at the Beauty Crown Theatre.

    Controversy

    China has only recently lifted a 54-year ban on beauty contests, which have traditionally been seen as a symbol of bourgeois decadence, but attitudes have been changing.

    Lady in clover: Davison, 19, is the
    daughter of singer Chris de Burgh

    The public display of women judged primarily on their physical appearance 

    remains controversial in many parts of the world.

    Last year, the annual parade of beauties attracted ugly headlines when deadly riots erupted in the host country Nigeria.

    At least 200 people died when a local newspaper's comment that the Prophet Muhammad might have enjoyed the event sparked violent clashes.

    The riots erupted with angry Muslims attacking Christians in northern Nigeria and forced the contest to move to Britain.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


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