A 23-year-old Indian girl, an admirer of former Miss Universe Sushmita Sen, won the coveted Miss Asia Pacific 2012 title, held in Busan, Seoul in South Korea on Saturday.
Himangini Singh Yadu, who hails from Indore, a district in Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, brought back the prestigious crown to India after 12 years, beating out 19 other contestants in the international beauty pageant.
The last beauty queen to win the title from India was model-turned-actress Dia Mirza, who won in the year 2000.
"This is a dream come true! All the hard work, time and effort that my mentors have put in with me has paid off," Himangini said in a statement.
"I am extremely thankful to the entire I AM She team and Sushmita Sen... I couldn't have done it without them! I am extremely thrilled at making them and India proud," she added.
After being selected by a national beauty pageant, I AM SHE, which sends its winners to compete in Miss Asia Pacific contest, Yadu represented India in the international competition.
"We Did It' My heartfelt congratulations to 'I AM She' contestant Himangini Singh for winning 'Miss Asia Pacific World 2012' in Korea 2day:) (sic)," the ecstatic mentor of Himangini and also a supermodel-turned-actress Sushmita Sen tweeted, adding, "Himangini also becomes d1st ever 'I AM she' contestant 2 win a prestigious INT title since we initiated 'I AM she' competition in 2010."?
"The entire team is extremely happy and very proud of Himangini for winning the international title... She has so beautifully represented India and won us back that sweet taste of
victory," the former Miss Universe said. "She has given us the biggest gift. Her life starts now because once again an Indian beauty has been recognized on the world map. That's one of the greatest achievements," Daily Mail quoted Sen as saying.
A BCA graduate, Himangini was crowned Miss Indore in 2006 and ever since she has been doing various fashion shows.
Tuyanaa Temenjargal of Mongolia was crowned the first runner-up and Diana Kubasova of Latvia won the second runner-up title in the international beauty pageant.