Miss World 2002

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Miss World 2002
Azra Akın (2004).jpg
Miss World 2002 titleholder – Azra Akin
Date7 December 2002
VenueAlexandra Palace, London, United Kingdom
WinnerAzra Akın[2]
← 2001
2003 →

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

A total of 110 contestants from all over the world were initially invited to compete for the crown, but several contestants boycotted the pageant and others dropping out in protest for the death sentence by stoning determined by an Islamic Sharia court to Amina Lawal, a Nigerian woman accused of adultery, making a total of 88 girls competing for the crown. 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.[3] Azra Akın from Turkey won the pageant,[2] becoming the first ever representative from her country to be crowned Miss World. She was crowned by Agbani Darego of Nigeria. Show organizers stated that the event had a global viewership of over 2 billion people, and that it was broadcast in 137 countries.[2] It was the first time in 51 years that it was not shown in the UK;[4] no British channel agreed to broadcast the event.[2][5]

Miss World 2002 Titlecard


Countries and territories which sent delegates and results[2][3]


Final results Contestant
Miss World 2002
1st Runner-Up
2nd Runner-Up
Top 5
Top 10
Top 20

Continental Queens of Beauty[edit]

Continental Group Contestant
Asia & Oceania
  •  Aruba – Rachelle Oduber


88 contestants participated in Miss World 2002.[3]

Withdrawals during the contest[edit]

  •  Guatemala – Paula Margarita Alonso Morales
  •  South Korea – Yu-Kyung Chang - She withdrew during the Miss World riots in Nigeria, with no intentions of return.
  •  Malawi – Blandina Mlenga
  •  Mauritius – Karen Alexandre
  •  Sri Lanka – Nilusha Gamage

Withdrawals, but later re-incorporated into the contest after moved to London[edit]

  •  Canada – Lynsey Bennett
  •  Panama – Yoselin Sánchez Espino
  •  Spain – Lola Alcocer
  •  Tahiti – Rava Maiarii

Boycotting due to Amina Lawal case[edit]

  •  AustriaCeline Roschek
  •  Costa Rica – Shirley Alvarez Sandoval
  •  Denmark – Masja Juel
  •  Iceland – Eyrun Steinsson
  •   SwitzerlandNadine Vinzens

Also boycotting but never invited:

  •  Côte d'Ivoire – Yannick Azebian
  •  Togo – Sandrine Akuvi Agbokpe

Invited but never confirmed[edit]

  •  Bangladesh - No contest
  •  Belarus - Volha Nevdakh
  •  British Virgin Islands - No contest
  •  Cameroon - Diane Ngo Mouaha
  •  Cayman Islands - No contest
  •  Dominican Republic - No contest
  •  Egypt - Ines Gohar
  •  Madagascar - No contest
  •  Hawaii - No contest. Lost its licence for Miss World.
  •  Moldova - No contest
  •  Morocco - Doja Lahlou
  •    Nepal - No contest
  •  Paraguay - Lost its licence for Miss World until 2003.
  •  Portugal - No contest
  •  Sint Maarten - No contest. Lost its licence for Miss World.
  •  Zambia - No contest


  •  American Virgin Islands – Cubie-Ayah George
  •  Argentina – Daniela Estefania Puig
  •  Bulgaria – The winner of Miss Bulgaria 2002, Teodora Burgazlieva was replaced by her 2nd Runner up - Desislava Guleva due the fact that she did some nude pictures for Club M magazine before winning the Miss Bulgaria 2002 crown.[6]
  •  Belgium – Miss Belgium 2002, Ann Van Elsen refused to participate in protest of the conviction of Amina Lawal.
  •  Czech Republic – The winner of Miss Czech Republic 2002, Kateřina Průšová didn't compete internationally due to her poor English skills.[7] Her 1st runner-up, Kateřina Smržová replaced her for the Miss World 2002 and Miss Universe 2003 contests.[8]
  •  Germany – The winner of Miss Germany Wahl 2002, Katrin Wrobel had to relinquish the crown due to the fact that she wanted to focus on her modeling career.[9] However her 1st runner up, Simone Wolf-Reinfurt got sick just days before her departure to Nigeria and was replaced by the 2nd runner up of Miss Germany Wahl 2002, Indira Selmic.
  •  France – Miss France 2002, Sylvie Tellier refused to participate in protest of the conviction of Amina Lawal.
  •  Iceland – The winner of Ungfrú Ísland.is 2002 (Miss World Iceland), Sólveig Zophoníasdóttir was dethroned following her nude photos in Playboy magazine. But none of her runners-up accepted the crown for different reasons and disagreements over the winner's contract. Then the organizers picked Eyrun Steinsson as the Icelandic representative for Miss World 2002, but she later decided to boycott the contest.[10][11]
  •  Italy – The winner of Miss Mondo Italia 2002, Pamela Camassa resigned her crown because she wanted a normal life. Her 1st runner up, Susanne Zuber took her duties.[12]
  •  South Africa – Miss South Africa 2002 & 3rd runner up of Miss Universe 2002, Vanessa Carreira was unable to go to Miss World 2002 as the Miss South Africa 2003 contest was 1 day after the Miss World 2002 contest and she had to crown her successor. Also she refused to participate in protest of the conviction of Amina Lawal. Another South African pageant organization - Miss Junior South Africa, sent their 2002 winner - Karen Lourens. However MWO accepted the first runner up of Miss SA 2002, Claire Sabbagha to participate in Miss World 2002 despite being overage.[13]
  •  Ukraine – The winner of Miss Ukraine 2002, Olena Stohniy couldn't participate due to the fact that she was overage for Miss World rules, she was just 25 years old.[14] She was replaced by one of her runners-up - Iryna Udovenko.[15]

Historical significance[edit]

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.[16][17] 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.[18] 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.[19]

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.[20] 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.[21][22][23][24] Upon the pageant's return to England, many of the boycotting contestants chose to attend, including Miss Norway, Kathrine Sørland, who was tipped in the last few days as the number one favourite for the crown she had previously boycotted.[25][26][27][28][29]


  1. ^ "The Tuscaloosa News". Retrieved 27 January 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Daily News". Retrieved 27 January 2016.
  3. ^ a b c "Philippine Daily Inquirer". Retrieved 27 January 2016.
  4. ^ "Morley's global vision for Miss World". 21 June 2003. Retrieved 13 April 2019 – via www.telegraph.co.uk.
  5. ^ Freeman, Hadley (7 December 2002). "Dogged by criticism and ridicule, the Miss World pageant continues". Retrieved 13 April 2019 – via www.theguardian.com.
  6. ^ "Конкурсът "Мис Свят" предизвика протест срещу смъртната присъда в Нигерия". www.dnevnik.bg. Retrieved 13 April 2019.
  7. ^ "Průšová nejede na Miss Universe". iDNES.cz. 5 February 2003. Retrieved 13 April 2019.
  8. ^ http://www.globalbeauties.com/blog/2012/03/from-czechoslovakia-to-czech-to-ceska-a-journey-through-history/
  9. ^ Welle (www.dw.com), Deutsche. "Miss Germany Wants to Be Miss No More - DW - 03.09.2002". DW.COM. Retrieved 13 April 2019.
  10. ^ "Sólveig Zophoníasdóttir kjörin ungfrú Ísland.is". www.mbl.is. Retrieved 13 April 2019.
  11. ^ Háskólabókasafn, Landsbókasafn Íslands-. "Timarit.is". timarit.is. Retrieved 13 April 2019.
  12. ^ http://www.bellezavenezolana.net/news/2003/nov02.htm
  13. ^ "We're off to Miss World - IOL News". www.iol.co.za. Retrieved 13 April 2019.
  14. ^ "MySQL Fatal Error". altfast.ru. Retrieved 13 April 2019.
  15. ^ "Мисс Украина 2002 — о конкурах на модельном портале Models.ua". www.models.ua. Retrieved 13 April 2019.
  16. ^ "As Miss World Turns". The Nation. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
  17. ^ "CNN.com - Miss World boycott over Nigerian stoning - September 8, 2002". archive.is. Archived from the original on 7 July 2012. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
  18. ^ "Miss World 2002". Pageantopolis. Archived from the original on 24 November 2010. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
  19. ^ "Woman sentenced to stoning freed". CNN. 25 September 2003.
  20. ^ "Nigeria riots toll 'passes 200'". BBC News. 24 November 2002. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
  21. ^ "Miss World 2002 – The World at their Feet". Isioma.net. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
  22. ^ Isioma Daniel (17 February 2003). "Nigerian journalist Isioma Daniel tells her story". The Guardian. UK. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
  23. ^ "Nigeria's journalist on the run". BBC News. 27 November 2002. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
  24. ^ "Miss World and Islam: "Fatwa" and Isioma Daniel a Nigerian "Fatwa"". Nigeria World. 26 November 2002. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
  25. ^ Modern Gent. "Contestants boycott Miss World". Modern Gent. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
  26. ^ "News". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
  27. ^ "News". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
  28. ^ "Nigeria faces Miss World boycott threat". BBC News. 27 August 2002. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
  29. ^ "Miss World Nigeria boycott spreads". BBC News. 6 September 2002. Retrieved 4 December 2011.

External links[edit]