The delegate from South Africa is the first semifinalist of Mr World 2019 contest after he won the sports challenge competition held at the Victoria Sports Tower in Quezon City Friday.
Fezile Mkhize, 28, a doctor and television presenter from South Africa, raced to the top of the competition among 70 men who showed off skills, discipline, and athleticism.
Tied for second place were Makala Nganda Courtez (Cameroon), and Daniel Castrillon (Colombia).
In third place was Wayne Walsh (Ireland).
Aside from sports, other fast-track events are Extreme Challenge, Talent, Top Model, and Multimedia.
Debuts in this year’s edition of Mr World are delegates from Armenia, Bangladesh, British Virgin Islands, Cambodia, Cameroon, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Finland, Guinea Bissau, Mauritius, Myanmar, Samoa, Sierra Leone, St. Maarten, South Sudan, and Tonga.
Jody Barnes “JB” Saliba, a graduate of sports science from the University of the Philippines and an upcoming actor, is the country’s delegate to the prestigious international male contest.
So far, no Filipino has won the title. But the reigning Mister World is the first Asian to win the contest.
The highest placement won by a Filipino in the pageant was first runner-up won by Filipino-British athlete Andrew Wolff in 2012. Wolff, 32, currently plays for the Alabang Eagles Rugby Club and the Philippine Volcanoes.
Other Filipinos who competed in the Mister World pageant were Christopher Celis (1996), Rico Lee Miguel (1998), Roderick Dilla Salvador (2000), Marco Antonio Tamayo (2003), Emmanuel Mago (2007), Alvin de Joya (2010), John Spainhour (2014) and Sam Adjani (2016).
The finals of Mr World 2019 will be held at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City on August 23.