MISS CANADA, NATALIE GLEBOVA, has been crowned MISS UNIVERSE in Thai capital Bangkok today (31MAY05).

Earlier, the 12-judge panel narrowed the field of 81 contestants to 15, then 10 as the Miss Universe hopefuls modelled evening gowns and swimsuits.

In the final round of the competition, the brunette beauty from Toronto, Ontario, saw off competition from Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela and beat second place MISS PUERTO RICO CYNTHIA OLAVARRIA to the top spot.

All contestants, who arrived in Thailand three weeks ago, have visited tsunami-struck areas along the southern coastline, and it is hoped the pageant will boost the country's tourism sector, which was badly hurt by last December's (26DEC04) tidal wave disaster.

31/05/2005 17:27