In what promises to be a stellar year for the African continent, Nigeria‘s Ugochi Ihezue won the Top Model Fast Track event and is now the second contestant to enter the Miss World 2017 Top 40. The 20-year-old student beat 29 other short-listed candidates who each modeled creations by Chinese designers at the final round.
Finishing 2nd place was Thailand‘s Patlada Kulphakthanapat, 3rd place was Croatia’s Tea Mlinaric, and rounding up the Top 4 was the host delegate, China‘s Guan Siyu.
Indonesia’s Achintya Holte Nilsen was also presented the Designer Dress Award during the proceedings.
The remaining 26 quarter-finalists were:
Bosnia and Herzegovina – Aida Karamehmedovic
Brazil – Gabrielle Vilela
Colombia – Maria Daza
Cote d’Ivoire – Mandjalia Gbane
Dominican Republic – Aletxa Mueses
El Salvador – Fatima Cuellar
France – Aurore Kichenin
Guadeloupe – Audrey Berville
Guinea – Asmaou Diallo
Honduras – Celia Monterrosa
India – Manushi Chhillar
Indonesia – Achintya Holte Nilsen
Israel – Rotem Rabi
Kenya – Magline Jeruto
Korea – Ha-Eun Kim
Mexico – Andrea Meza
Mongolia – Enkjin Tseveendash
Montenegro – Tea Babic
Nepal – Nikita Chandak
Panama – Julianne Britton
Poland – Magdalena Bienkowska
Russia – Polina Popova
Slovenia – Maja Zupan
Spain – Elisa Tulian
Ukraine – Polina Tkach
Venezuela – Ana Carolina Ugarte
The results proved to be a refreshing surprise for many fans, as none of the pre-pageant favorites made the Top 4. If it’s any indication, this is going to be one unpredictable year.
The Top Model challenge is one of the highly-anticipated Fast Track events in the Miss World pageant. Four of its previous winners eventually bagged the crown: China‘s Zhang Zi Lin (2007), Russia‘s Kseniya Sukhinova (2008), the Philippines’ Megan Young (2013), and Spain‘s Mireia Lalaguna (2015).
Ugochi is now the sixth woman from Nigeria to place in this pageant. The most noteworthy of which was 2001’s Agbani Darego, the first black African Miss World titleholder.
Congratulations and welcome to the Top 40, Nigeria!