March 1, 2005, Updated September 13, 2012

Mrs. Israel, Sima Bakh, is crowned Mrs. World by last year’s winner, Suzana Pavadee Vicherut Mcnokroot of Thailand.Mrs. Israel, Sima Behar, won the title of Mrs. World 2005 at the international pageant held at Amby Valley Sahara Lake City near Bombay, India last week.

Behar, 28, beat out more than 40 other attractive women from around the world. After her victory was announced, a diamond and ruby studded crown worth $18,000 was placed on her head by last year’s winner Suzana Pavadee Vicherut Mcnokroot of Thailand.

Mrs. Croatia, Ivana Brnic Boce, and Mrs. New Zealand, Sherin Peace, were declared the first and second runners-up.

This was the first time that India played host to the contest, initiated in 1977 and held by an American company, designed to “symbolize the celebration of beauty, grace, charm and family values of women.”

Behar, originally from Tel Aviv, is married to Ilan Bakhar, a professional international soccer player who has played on Israel’s national team and currently plays for the Braga team in Portugal.

In the final round, Behar’s was asked what her biggest challenge in the competition had been – her answer “being away from my daughter” won her a standing ovation and clinched the crown.

She told the Israeli press that she was “in shock. The amount of support for Israel was tremendous,” and noted that her closest friend over the course of the pageant was Mrs. Lebanon.

Behar, a student of interior design, also bagged the ‘Beautiful Legs’ and ‘Sensational Body’ categories at the contest.

A five-member panel of judges comprising celebrated Indian celebrities and former beauty queens such as Heida Dianan (Mrs. America 2004) and Rosy Senanayake (Mrs. World 1985) picked the top three winners.

David Z. Marmal, president of Mrs. America Inc and Mrs. World Inc said: “The event began with the intention of recognizing the contribution of a woman to her community, country and modern contemporary life. It now showcases the modern married women who has imbibed style, grace, beauty and intelligence.”

Behar’s husband in Portugal told the press that he was “thrilled to suddenly know that I’m married to the most beautiful married woman in the world. That is huge”

“I can’t wait to have her back home with me.”

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