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Student Vet from Vienna Wins Miss World

November 13, 1987

LONDON (AP) _ Ulla Weigerstorfer, a veterinary science student from Vienna, Austria, celebrated her first full day as Miss World today and said it was all like a dream.

″I didn’t think I would win,″ Miss Weigerstorfer said after she was crowned in the 37th-annual pageant Thursday night. ″I feel there were 78 Miss Worlds here.″

The 20-year-old student and part-time model showed no signs of tears and smiled broadly as she walked down the runway wearing a black and purple flamenco-style dress and holding the Miss World scepter.

″I’m so happy, I couldn’t say,″ she told reporters after the pageant at the Royal Albert Hall before an audience of 8,000. An estimated 500 million television viewers in 50 countries watched the 90-minute show.

The 5-foot-11, blue-eyed blonde, the first Austrian to win the title since 1969, was chosen from among 78 contestants.

British bookmakers had offered odds against her winning of 20-1.

The first runner-up was Venezuela’s Albani Lozada Jimenez, a 22-year-old television interviewer from Caracas who was the bookies’ clear favorite before the contest.

Iceland’s Anna Margret Jonsdottir, a 21-year-old stewardess from Reykjavik, came in third.

Miss United States, 23-year-old receptionist Clothilde Cabrera from Tampa, Fla., failed to make the final rounds.

Miss Weigerstorfer, who succeeds Giselle Jeanne-Marie Laronde of Trinidad and Tobago, also was named winner of the Queen of Beauty trophy for Europe, one of five continental prizes first awarded in 1981.

Miss Venezuela was named winner for the Americas.

The other Queens of Beauty were Miss Nigeria, Mary Ngozi Biendseh, 19, for Africa; Miss Hong Kong, Pauline Po Ling Yeung, 20, for Asia; and Miss Guam, Francel Caracol, 24, for Oceania.

In addition to Miss Austria, Miss Venezuela and Miss Iceland, the other three finalists were Miss Poland, Monika Nowosadko Ewa, 23; Miss Argentina, Katerina Ciscato, 17; and Miss Colombia, Claudia Escobar Zapata, 21.

Miss Weigerstorfer earlier had spoken enthusiastically in an on-stage interview about her interest in horse riding.

With the title, she won $8,800 and a $44,000 one-year contract to promote clothes and beauty products worldwide.

Another Austrian model, Eva Reuber-Staier, won Miss World in 1969.

For the first time, the entrants paraded in leotards, not swimsuits, in what some saw as a concession to disapproving feminists.

″We have to keep up with the times,″ said Julia Morley, who runs the pageant with her entrepreneur husband, Eric. ″Bathing costumes are old hat.″

The pageant has raised more than $50 million for underprivileged and disabled children since it was first held at the Festival of Britain in 1951.

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