Modesty cast aside as Russia fetes Miss World win

Russia’s newspapers purred with satisfaction on Monday that its victory in the Miss World contest proved what everyone already knew — that Russian girls are the most beautiful in the world.

”Whoever doubted that Russian girls are the most beautiful in the world?” the popular tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda boasted after the crowning of Kseniya Sukhinova as Miss World 2008 in Johannesburg on Saturday.

A rival title, Moskovsky Komsomolets, published the results of a readers’ internet survey showing that 66% considered ”Russian girls the most beautiful in the world.”

The self-congratulatory expressions were part of a proud tradition in Russia of asserting that Russian women are the world’s most stunning, an issue that allows very little room for debate.

In a string of interviews, Sukhinova professed relief that this year’s gruelling contest was over, although she doubted she would be returning soon to her studies in the cybernetics department of her Siberian home town.

She told Moskovsky Komsomolets, which claimed to have woken the sleeping beauty in her Johannesburg hotel room: ”My smile and self-confidence were the main secrets of my success.”

The Miss World crown, glittering on her bedside table, ”is heavy, but I noticed very comfortable,” she said. ”I didn’t want to take it off.”

”I want to see snow as soon as possible as I really missed it — I want to get home,” she added.

The 21-year-old from the Siberian oil and gas region of Tyumen was among 109 young women who competed for this year’s Miss World crown, spending nearly a month on safari as part of the contest.

Sukhinova can look forward to a packed year of promotional events before handing on her crown.

Still, Russian papers pointedly noted she had yet to be swept off her feet by a ”prince charming”, apparently being too busy for romance. – AFP

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