Lebanon’s Christina Sawaya made history when she was crowned Miss International 2002 during the 42nd edition of the pageant held at the Century Hyatt in Tokyo, Japan.
The then 22-year-old model and a graduate of business economics degree succeeded Poland’s Małgorzata Rożniecka. She beat 46 other beauties to become the first-ever Arab woman to win Miss International.
France’s Emmanuelle Jagodsinski and Japan’s Hana Urushima were the first and second runners-up, respectively.
The representatives from Czech Republic, Lenka Taussigová, Dominican Republic, Jeimi Hernández, Korea, Gi Yoon-joo, Nicaragua, Marianela Lacayo, Poland, Monika Angermann, Senegal, Mame Diarra Mballo, Spain, Laura Espinosa, and Thailand, Piyanuch Khamboon completed the Top 12 semi-finalists.
Prior to winning the pageant, Christina was crowned Miss Lebanon 2001 and went on to compete in the Miss World 2001 pageant. She refused to participate in Miss Universe to avoid competing with Miss Israel, Yamit Har-Noy, amidst the conflict between their nations.
Miss International 2002: Lebanon – Christina Sawaya
1st runner-up: France – Emmanuelle Jagodsinski
2nd runner-up: Japan – Hana Urushima
Czech Republic – Lenka Taussigová
Dominican Republic – Jeimi Hernández
Korea – Gi Yoon-joo
Nicaragua – Marianela Lacayo
Poland – Monika Angermann
Senegal – Mame Diarra Mballo
Spain – Laura Espinosa
Thailand – Piyanuch Khamboon
Turkey – Nihan Akkus
Miss Friendship: Hong Kong – Cathy Wu Kar-Wai
Miss Photogenic: China – Amy Yan Wei
Best in National Costume: Korea – Gi Yoon-joo
Photos: Miss International