Jerusalem, Israel | Xinhua | Miss India Harnaaz Sandhu was crowned as the 70th Miss Universe at the pageant held on the night between Sunday and Monday at Israel’s southernmost resort city of Eilat.
Sandhu, a 21-year-old actress and model, beat 79 other contestants and won a third title for her country, following previous Indian wins in 1994 and 2000. She was crowned by the previously reigning Miss Universe, Mexico’s Andrea Meza.
“It was a once in a lifetime experience,” Sandhu said. “The last three weeks have been a dream. I hope to serve the global community as best as I can during the coming year.”
Born in the state of Panjab in northwestern India, Sandhu is the daughter of a gynecologist, and grew up working with her mother at medical camps addressing women’s health and menstrual hygiene, according to the official website of Miss Universe.
Nadia Ferreira from Paraguay finished as first runner-up and South African representative Lalela Mswane took the second runner-up spot.