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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.

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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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