Jung So-ra was crowned Miss Korea 2010 at the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts, downtown Seoul, Sunday night. The 19-year-old will compete in next year’s Miss Universe competition and afterward hopes to become a diplomat ― a career well within reach of the young scholar who already speaks four languages.
/ Korea Times photo
by Kim Ji-gon
By Ines Min
After another warm and bright weekend, Korea awoke to a fresh new face Monday morning. Jung So-ra was crowned Miss Korea 2010 Sunday night at the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts, downtown Seoul.
Jung valiantly fought back her tears while being crowned by last year’s winner Kim Joo-ri. Dressed in a rich, navy blue dress, the doe-eyed beauty’s surprise and excitement was evident.
It was only moments before the announcement came that the humble 19-year-old ― originally representing Seoul ― was asked who she would, in all honesty, like to see be crowned the winner.
``I can be greedy,’’ Jung started sincerely. ``But my heart also knows how to yield. I would like for all of us to win.’’
She will be the representative national face for the coming year, a responsibility she already has an affinity and skill for. Jung, who wants to be a diplomat, already speaks four languages (including English, Chinese and Japanese along with her mother tongue), and is enrolled at the University of California, Riverside.
The young scholar is also well-rounded and mostly enjoys spending her time cooking, practicing yoga and dancing.
Kim Hye-young, 20, from North Gyeongsang Province and Jang Yun-jin, 24, from Seoul were named first runners-up. The second runners-up were Ko Hyun-young (20, from Busan), Lee Gwi-joo (19, from North Jeolla Province), Ha Hyun-jung (23, from Seoul) and Ahn Da-hye (21, from North Chungcheong Province).
The competition, hosted by actor Kim Su-ro and former Miss Korea 2000 Kim Sa-rang, saw special performances by Korean pop groups Super Junior and After School. Jazz pianist Jin Bo-ra also lent her talents during the dress parade, while JK Kim Dong-wook offered his vocals for the swimsuit edition.
Preliminary rounds for this year’s queen began in April with regional competitions. Contestants were chosen from the southernmost tip of the peninsula to across the ocean to include beauties from New York, Los Angeles and other cities.
Since the start of this month, the 56 finalists participated in a range of bonding experiences and community service activities, from taking cruise excursions to Japan to interact with the local community, to learning to make pizzas alongside children for a charity.
The top four pageant winners will go on to compete for Miss Universe, Miss International, Miss Earth and Miss World.
The event was organized by the Hankook Ilbo and Sports Hankook, sister papers of The Korea Times, and sponsored by Union Pharmacy and Alpensia Resort.