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South African Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters Crowned Miss Universe 2017

A South African woman who helps train women in self-defence was crowned Miss Universe on Sunday, November 26, 2017, at the pageant held in Las Vegas, with Miss Colombia and Miss Jamaica also making it to the final three.

Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, 22, who unleashed a big smile when she won, hails from the Western Cape Province and recently earned a business management degree from North-West University.

Former Miss Universe Iris Mittenaere, right, crowns new Miss Universe Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters at the Miss Universe pageant Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017, in Las Vegas. Photo credit: 570 News

Her passion for self-defence was reinforced when she was hijacked and held at gunpoint about a month after winning her title as Miss South Africa, she said in a video on the Miss Universe website.

Miss Colombia, Laura González, 22, was the first runner-up.

***Reuters

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