Beijing beauty Zhang Zilin walked away with the Miss World 2007 crown before a partisan crowd on December 1, dazzling the judging panel with her high-voltage smile and elegant confidence.
The 23-year-old Miss China set the night alight in Sanya, in south China's Hainan Province, when she emerged from a bevy of 106 of the world's most beautiful women to become China's first Miss World in 57 years of the beauty pageant's history. Miss Angola and Miss Mexico took the second and third places.
The 1.82-meter-tall Zhang completed a Bachelor's degree in business administration at the University of Science and Technology Beijing in 2006. After graduation, she was employed as a secretary in the city. In her spare time, however, she loves classical music, enjoys folk dancing and is also a keen athlete.
In her fourth year on campus, Zhang was discovered by a leading Chinese modeling agency. Thanks to her reed-thin figure, she was chosen to take part in the 2007 Giorgio Armani Haute Couture and Paris Fashion Week.
Zhang is proud of her home support and the fact that she won on home soil. The Miss World Pageant has been held for the past four years in Sanya, often referred to as China's Hawaii.
"If I win, I want to become a link between the Olympic Games and the Miss World Organization," Zhang said during the competition's 40-second interview phase. "I want to use the power and beauty of Miss World to support those in need," she added, before a worldwide audience of 2 billion viewers.
As a goodwill ambassador of the Miss World Organization, Zhang, who has pledged to use her title-holder's year to "dedicate my time to the rest of the world," will soon kick off her yearlong tour of duty, with visits to the Caribbean, Europe and South Africa.