Miss South Africa first runner up Adè Van Heerden has a chance of becoming Miss World after she was unveiled as the country’s sole representative at the upcoming 67th annual Miss World pageant in China on November 18.
Due to an overlapping schedule which will prevent Miss SA Demi Leigh Nel Peters from taking up her position on the world stage, Van Heerden has been roped in, while Nel Peters focuses her attention on Miss Universe on November 26 at a venue yet to be confirmed.
Miss South Africa organisers Sun International cited an overlapping date as a reason for Van Heerden’s participation at the Miss World competition as reigning Miss SA Demi Leigh Nel Peters would not be able to complete in both Miss Universe and Miss World pageants at the same time.
The 25-year-old Van Heerden who is also a medical doctor and second lieutenant in the South African Military Health Services will compete with 123 participants at the prestigious event at the Crown of Beauty Theatre in Sanya, China.
The Cape Town born beauty said she is delighted over the opportunity to represent South Africa on the Miss World stage.
“I could not have asked for a more incredible opportunity and am determined to give it my all and make our country proud. I look forward to sharing with the world my passion to protect and heal humankind,” Van Heerden said.
Claudia Henkel, Sun International PR manager said the organisation was confident about Van Heerden taking part in the world’s most glamorous event.
“We are absolutely delighted that Adè will be taking part in Miss World as she has all the necessary qualities to take the title – intelligence, integrity and beauty,” Henkel said.
This year the contest introduces head to head challenge events, which take place between October 21 and November 15 at different locations visited by the contestants.
Twenty groups of six (sometimes seven) countries will compete with the winner of each group automatically qualifying for the Miss World Top 40.
This comprises the 20 head to head challenge winners, five fast track event winners and 15 selected by the judges.
The Miss SA has established an impressive history on the international stage, with Penny Coelen becoming the country’s first Miss World in 1958. Anneline Kriel took the title of Miss World in 1974 and in 2014 Rolene Strauss was crowned Miss World.