Eva Ekvall, Miss Venezuela and the third finalist for Miss Universe 2001 -- one of the most difficult competions in the history of the event -- died at 28 years old after losing her battle with breast cancer, which was diagnosed in 2010.

Athough the Venezuelan failed to win the coveted title in the 2001 Miss Universe competition in Bayamon, Puerto Rico -- Puerto Rican Denise Quinones won the crown -- Eva Ekvall proved to be one of the toughest competitors in a country that holds the record for the most crowns won by beauty queens.

Ekvall's husband, John Fabio Bermudez, released a statement this weekend, through the Notimex news agency, in which news of her death broke and that of her illness, which she had battled for almost two years and that forced her to move to the United States a few months ago after the cancer re-emerged. Despite her doctors' best efforts, however, "her health deteriorated up until her death."