Miss World 2002

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Miss World 2002
Miss World 2002 Titlecard
Date 7 December 2002
Presenters Sean Kanan,[1] Claire Elizabeth Smith
Entertainment Chayanne, BBMak
Venue Alexandra Palace, London, UK
Broadcaster E!, Channel 5
Entrants 88
Placements 20
Winner Azra Akın [2]

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.[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]


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


Final results Contestant
Miss World 2002
1st runner-up
  •  Colombia – Natalia Peralta [2][4]
2nd runner-up
Top 10
  •  Australia – Nicole-Rita Ghazal
  •  China PR – Wu Ying Na (5th place)
  •  Nigeria – Chinenye Ochuba
  •  NorwayKathrine Sørland (4th place)
  •  Philippines – Katherine Ann Manalo
  •  United States – Rebekah Chantay Revels
  •  VenezuelaGoizeder Azúa
Top 20
  •  Aruba – Rachelle Oduber
  •  Bosnia & Herzegovina – Danijela Vins
  •  Curaçao – Ayannette Mary Ann Statia
  •  Holland – Elise Boulogne
  •  India – Shruti Sharma
  •  Italy – Susanne Zuber
  •  Puerto Rico – Cassandra Polo Berrios
  •  Russia – Anna Tatarintseva
  •  VietnamPham Thi Mai Phuong
  •  Yugoslavia – Ana Sargic

Continental Queens of Beauty[edit]

Continental Group Contestant
  •  Colombia – Natalia Peralta
Asia & Oceania
  •  China PR – Wu Ying Na
  •  Aruba – Rachelle Oduber


88 contestants participated in Miss World 2002.[3]

Historical significance[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.[5][6] 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.[7] 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.[8]

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.[9] 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.[10][11][12][13] 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 favourite for the crown she had previously boycotted.[14][15][16][17][18]


  1. ^ "The Tuscaloosa News". Retrieved 27 January 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Daily News". Retrieved 27 January 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c "Philippine Daily Inquirer". Retrieved 27 January 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c "Star-News". Retrieved 27 January 2016. 
  5. ^ "As Miss World Turns". The Nation. Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  6. ^ "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. 
  7. ^ "Miss World 2002". Pageantopolis. Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  8. ^ "Woman sentenced to stoning freed". CNN. 25 September 2003. 
  9. ^ "Nigeria riots toll 'passes 200'". BBC News. 24 November 2002. Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  10. ^ "Miss World 2002 – The World at their Feet". Isioma.net. Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  11. ^ Isioma Daniel (17 February 2003). "Nigerian journalist Isioma Daniel tells her story". The Guardian (UK). Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  12. ^ "Nigeria's journalist on the run". BBC News. 27 November 2002. Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  13. ^ "Miss World and Islam: "Fatwa" and Isioma Daniel a Nigerian "Fatwa"". Nigeria World. 26 November 2002. Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  14. ^ Modern Gent. "Contestants boycott Miss World". Modern Gent. Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  15. ^ "News". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 27 January 2016. 
  16. ^ "News". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 27 January 2016. 
  17. ^ "Nigeria faces Miss World boycott threat". BBC News. 27 August 2002. Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  18. ^ "Miss World Nigeria boycott spreads". BBC News. 6 September 2002. Retrieved 4 December 2011. 

External links[edit]