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Venezuelan Crowned Miss World

Miss Venezuela, Ivian Sarcos (right), is congratulated by Miss World 2010, Alexandria Mills of the United States, after winning Miss World 2011 in London.
Ivian Sarcos of Venezuela has been crowned Miss World.

The 21-year-old Sarcos -- who was orphaned at age 8 but has gone on to earn a college degree in human resources -- was declared the winner of the annual beauty and talent pageant on November 6 in London.

"More than nervousness, I felt some sadness -- just a little because my parents weren't physically present here. I lost them when I was little," Sarcos said. "And it makes me melancholy, but I feel much happiness because I know they're in heaven, looking down at me, and they're extremely proud of me and happy."

The first and second runners-up were Gwendoline Ruais from the Philippines and Amanda Perez from Puerto Rico.

More than 120 young women from around the world participated in the pageant.

Organizers said the contest -- which marked its 60th year this year -- was broadcast live to more than 150 countries and was watched by 1 billion viewers.

Outside the contest venue, a small feminist demonstration took place, with protesters denouncing the pageant for sexism and for objectifying women.

compiled from agency reports