The Sundaytimes Sri Lanka

It was Sabrina’s night


This was the grand finale. Over the last two months, the 12 beautiful contestants vying for the title of Siyatha Lux Miss Universe Sri Lanka 2012 had travelled all over the island to participate in 9 mini-pageants – competing not just to see who had the most beautiful body, but the talent, poise and the popularity to go along with it. However, by the end of the evening at the Colombo Hilton last Sunday, it was 24-year-old Sabrina Herft who walked away with the grand title and the chance to represent Sri Lanka at the Miss Universe pageant later this year.

Despite so much having gone on behind the scenes, the organisers staged a grand extravaganza for a full house that night. Our first glimpse of the young women came when they were escorted on to the stage by teams of elaborately costumed dancers. A little overcrowding ensued, but in the hours that followed, each had their turn in the spotlight. Aushyani Samarasinghe, Erandi Jayawardena, Eshani Jayapala, Fiona De Silva, Harsha Madushani, Luckme Perera, Madusha Mayadunne, Manuja De Silva, Nicola Dabrera, Pamuditha De Silva and Shehara Perera and Sabrina herself braved the usual rounds. They appeared in glittering white swimsuits designed by Lou Ching Wong, walked the ramp in evening gowns by Seasons Exclusive and matched wits in a brief Q&A session, all of which helped the judges make their final decision.

While they deliberated, the audience soaked up some light entertainment in the form of a fashion show staged by Seasons Exclusive and a few musical interludes, the best of which was a performance by the ever popular Bathiya and Santhush.

The winners of each of the mini-pageants were announced and Sabrina found herself with more than one sash as she came out the victor with the most titles, including ‘Miss Personality’, ‘Miss Confidence’ and ‘Miss Body Beautiful’. However, Sabrina’s real competition that night came from Madusha Mayadunne. Madusha, who speaks five languages, also walked away as the winner of the Miss Talent award. She will represent Sri Lanka at the 52nd Miss International beauty pageant on 21st October, 2012 in Okinawa, Japan. Their victory came with a light warning when the organisers emphasised that should either woman be unable to carry out her duties, the three runners up – Luckme, Nicola and Aushyani – will be waiting in the wings, ready to step in.

For her part, Sabrina looks ready to take it all on. She currently works as a media coordinator for the World Bank, has a Masters in Media and Communication from the University of Melbourne and says she would like to work in citizen journalism. “I’m an epicurean and a bibliophile and I relax and unwind with yoga,” she said in a brief introduction to herself. For the young beauty queen, her win means that her biggest challenge now lies ahead. The venue and location of the 61st Miss Universe pageant is yet to be announced, but as always the competition will be stiff. Here’s hoping that Sabrina and Madusha will do Sri Lanka proud.

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