Miss China won the Miss World crown...Saturday
Miss China won the coveted title of Miss World on Saturday, triumphing on home soil in a mining city on the edge of the Gobi desert.
The mostly Chinese audience erupted in cheers when it was announced that the home candidate, Yu Wenxia, had been awarded the title, reports AFP.
Explaining during the final why she should win the Miss World title, Yu said: "When I was young I felt very lucky because so many people helped me, and I hope in the future I can help more children to feel lucky."
Last year's Miss World -- Ivian Sarcos of Venezuela -- handed over her crown in the futuristic Dongsheng stadium in the northeastern city of Ordos.
A total of 116 contestants, the highest number ever, took to the stage during the contest, watched annually by about a billion people around the globe.
Ordos, around 700 kilometres (440 miles) from the nearest beach, is an unusual venue for the world's biggest beauty pageant.
Besides the traditional swimsuits and evening gowns, participants also donned outlandish costumes, with some dressed as belly dancers.
The beauty queens have been in China rehearsing for nearly a month, soaking up traditional Mongolian culture by churning yoghurt in a nomad's yurt and donning local attire to climb a sand dune.
The city, which has a vast town square dedicated to the mighty Mongolian warrior Genghis Khan, has grown rich over the last decade on the back of a coal mining boom that has transformed it from a sandstorm-afflicted backwater into one of the wealthiest places in China.
The boom triggered a frenzy of building in the city, but the local government has been unable to fill the vast tower blocks that have sprung up, earning it the title of China's biggest ghost town.
Enthusiastic competitors seemed unfazed, expressing optimism that with the help of the pageant, the city could leave that reputation behind and take its place alongside other global centres of glitz and glamour.
"Ordos could be the next Dubai," said Marielle Wilkie, representing the Caribbean nation of Barbados.