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A psychology student from Belarus, Aleksandra Chichikova, has been crowned Miss Wheelchair World in the first-ever edition of the beauty pageant held in Warsaw, Poland on Saturday.

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“Fight your anxiety and your fears,” the 23-year-old Chichikova said at a gala evening, after the contestants had presented themselves in national costumes and evening dresses in elaborate choreographies.

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Lebohang Monyatsi from South Africa was the runner-up ahead of Poland’s Adrianna Zawadzinska in the first contest of its kind on a global scale, which brought together 24 young women from 19 countries.

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The goal of the contest was to “change the image of women in wheelchairs so they would not be judged solely by this attribute,” contest co-founder and jury president Katarzyna Wojtaszek-Ginalska told AFP.

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The pageant organised by the Poland-based Only One Foundation, also seeks to show that a wheelchair is a luxury in many parts of the world, she added.

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