Richard Ricardo Carter of Thailand bested 21 contestants from around the world to claim the inaugural Mr. Universe Tourism 2017 title at the finals night at Palacio de Maynila on Roxas Boulevard.
The 22-year-old, six-foot-one, actor and model was a strong favorite to win the newest male pageant presented by the Kabataang Sama-samang Maglilingkod (KASAMA), Inc., headed by Gerald D. Ortiz, Quezon Province 4th District board member, also organizer of the annual Mr. and Miss Philippine Youth that discovered actors Dingdong Dantes, Onemig Bondoc, and the late Rico Yan, among others.
Carter, whose native name is Keng, starred in the 2015 hit gay-romance movie Gray. As Mr. Universe Tourism 2017, Carter will be the global tourism ambassador and will have the chance to travel the world to promote tourism and his personal platform.
Kris Martin of Canada, a 27-year-old, working nurse at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute was named First Runner-up. Marin was born in the Philippines but migrated to Canada with his family when he was seven years old.
Jin Stewart of Korea, a 26-year-old, hip-hop dancer from Vancouver, Canada and currently a student in Communications and Political Economy, finished Second Runner-up.
In the Top 10 semifinalists were John Jayarr Agustin of the Philippines, Ritesh Shetty of Mumbai, India, Philip Km of Myanmar, Atif Nazir of Pakistan, Ahmed Hassan of Sudan, Vu Linh of Vietnam and Landjeet Karam of Manipur, India.
Earlier, Agustin was awarded Best in Swimwear while the other Philippine representative CJ Querol won Best in Formal Wear. Thu Rein Htun of Yangon, Myanmar was named best in national costume.
Eton B. Concepcion / Photos: Ferdinand Abejon
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