Miss World is the only beauty pageant where at least 1/3 of its semifinalists each year are sourced from several pre-pageant events that make it a bit relaxed for the fast-track winners to heave some sigh of relief knowing ahead of time that they will definitely be called in the Top 15 come finals night.
The first fast-track event this year is for Miss World Sportswoman where 12 ladies qualified for the various sports activities which will determine the first semi-finalist for Miss World 2009. The last time a Japanese candidate made it to the Top 15 was in 1981 when Naomi Kishi made the cut. For 2009, Miss Japan Eruza Sasaki was awarded the Miss World Sportswoman title and automatically sprinted (pun intended) her way to a sure slot in the semifinals.
The 9 other ladies who competed for Miss World Sportswoman are: Sophie Lavers of Australia, Pooja Chopra of India, Ieva Lase of Latvia, Maria Milagros Veliz of Venezuela, Mariatu Kargbo of Sierra Leone, Jennifer Colon of Puerto Rico, Ashanna Arthur of Trinidad & Tobago, Claudia Vanrell of Uruguay and Kaiane Aldorino of Gibraltar.