Miss World 2002

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Miss World 2002
Miss World 2002 Titlecard
Date 7 December 2002
Presenters Sean Kanan, Claire Elizabeth Smith
Entertainment Chayanne, BBMak
Venue Alexandra Palace, London, UK United Kingdom
Broadcaster Five
Entrants 88
Placements 20
Debuts Albania, Algeria, Vietnam
Withdraws Austria, Bangladesh, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Hawaii, Iceland, Korea, Malawi, Portugal, Sint Maarten, Switzerland
Returns Bahamas, Belize, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Swaziland
Winner Azra Akın

Miss World 2002, the 52nd edition of the Miss World pageant, was held on 7 December 2002 at the Alexandra Palace in London, UK. It was initially intended to be staged in Abuja, Nigeria, but due to religious riots in the nearby city of Kaduna the pageant was relocated to London.

A total of 88 contestants from all over the world competed for the crown, several contestants boycotted the pageant in protest for the death sentence by stoning determined by an Islamic Sharia court to Amina Lawal, a Nigerian woman accused of adultery. It was the first time that audience participation through text messaging together with the scores of the judges helped in determining the results for the Top 20. Azra Akın from Turkey won the pageant, becoming the first ever representative from her country to be crowned Miss World. She was crowned by Miss World 2001, Agbani Darego of Nigeria.


Countries and territories which sent delegates and results


Final results Contestant
Miss World 2002
1st runner-up
2nd runner-up
3rd runner-up
4th runner-up
Top 10
Top 20

Note - The official site listed Norway as 3rd runner-up and China PR as 4th runner-up, but the Miss World final telecast only announced the winner, and 2 runners-up.

Continental Queens of Beauty[edit]

Continental Group Contestant
Asia & Oceania
  •  Aruba – Rachelle Oduber

Special awards[edit]

Award Contestant
Best World Dress Designer
Miss Talent
Miss World Scholarship

Order of announcements[edit]

Top 20
Top 10




Returning countries and territories[edit]

Last competed in 1991:

Last competed in 2000:



Boycotting nations and contestants:

Boycotting contestants (replaced by national directors):

Boycotting contestants (joined in London):

  •  Canada – Lynsey Ann Bennett
  •  Panama – Yoscelin Sánchez
  •  Spain – Lola Alcocer
  •  Tahiti – Rava Maiarii

Withdrew during the pageant:

  •  Korea – Chang Yoo-kyoung

Historical signifinance[edit]

Main article: Miss World riots

In the year leading up the finals in Nigeria, several European title holders lobbied their governments and the EU parliament to support Amina's cause.[1][2] A number of contestants followed the lead of Kathrine Sørland of Norway in boycotting the contest (despite the controversy Sørland went on to become a semi-finalist in both the Miss World and Miss Universe contest), while others such as Costa Rica were instructed by their national governments and parliaments not to attend the contest. Among the other boycotting nations were Denmark, Spain, Switzerland, Panama, Belgium and Kenya. There was further controversy over the possibly suspended participation of France and South Africa, which may or may not have been due to the boycott.[3] For her part, Lawal asked that contestants not suspend their participation in the contest, saying that it was for the good of her country and that they could, as the representative of Sweden had earlier remarked, make a much stronger case for her on the ground in Nigeria.[4]

Despite the increasing international profile the boycott was garnering in the world press, the contest went ahead in Nigeria after being rescheduled to avoid taking place during Ramadan, with many prominent nations sending delegates. Osmel Sousa of Venezuela, one of the world's most influential national directors, famously said "there is no question about it (the participation of Miss Venezuela in the contest)." The trouble did not end there, however. A Thisday (Lagos, Nigeria) newspaper editorial suggesting that Muhammad would probably have chosen one of his wives from among the contestants had he been alive to see it, resulted in inter-religious riots that started on 22 November in which over 200 people were killed in the city of Kaduna, along with many houses of worship being burned by religious zealots.[5] Because of these "Miss World riots", the 2002 pageant was moved to London, following widely circulated reports that the representatives of Canada and Korea had withdrawn from the contest and returned to their respective countries out of safety concerns. A fatwa urging the beheading of the woman who wrote the offending words, Isioma Daniel, was issued in Nigeria, but was declared null and void by the relevant Saudi Arabian authorities.[6][7][8][9] Upon the pageant's return to England, many of the boycotting contestants chose to attend, including Miss Norway, Kathrine Sørland, who was ironically tipped in the last few days as the number one favorite for the crown she had previously boycotted.[10][11][12][13][14]


  1. ^ "As Miss World Turns". The Nation. Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  2. ^ CNN – Miss World boycott over Nigerian stoning
  3. ^ "Miss World 2002". Pageantopolis. Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  4. ^ "Woman sentenced to stoning freed". CNN. 25 September 2003. 
  5. ^ "Nigeria riots toll 'passes 200'". BBC News. 24 November 2002. Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  6. ^ "Miss World 2002 – The World at their Feet". Isioma.net. Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  7. ^ Isioma Daniel (17 February 2003). "Nigerian journalist Isioma Daniel tells her story". The Guardian (UK). Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  8. ^ "Nigeria's journalist on the run". BBC News. 27 November 2002. Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  9. ^ "Miss World and Islam: "Fatwa" and Isioma Daniel a Nigerian "Fatwa"". Nigeria World. 26 November 2002. Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  10. ^ Modern Gent. "Contestants boycott Miss World". Modern Gent. Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  11. ^ Telegraph.co.uk – Don't boycott Nigeria's Miss World contest, begs mother facing stoning
  12. ^ Telegraph.co.uk – Contestants threaten Miss World boycott over stoning
  13. ^ "Nigeria faces Miss World boycott threat". BBC News. 27 August 2002. Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  14. ^ "Miss World Nigeria boycott spreads". BBC News. 6 September 2002. Retrieved 4 December 2011. 

External links[edit]