Sitting in third place after the first three jumps of four, the 28-year-old Romanian fought back with a 17.29m leap in the fourth round to steal the victory from Cuban Alexis Copello and Team Americas. The jump was the shortest winning leap in World Cup/ Continental Cup since the second edition in 1979.
Copello opened with a 17.25m leap in the opening round to lead European champion Phillips Idowu by a centimetre. Those first round efforts would be the best for the pair while Oprea, the 2008 Olympic silver medallist, steadily improved.
After a foul in round two, he improved to 17.20 with his third leap before his winner in the final round which secured the 28-year-old his biggest win of the season and a $30,000 winner’s paycheck.
“It was a very tight competition,” said Oprea, who was sidelined all of last year after undergoing knee surgery in November 2008. “I was third and I just wanted to jump a little bit further and fortunately it was good enough to win.”
Just five centimetres separated the top three finishers, by far the closest ever in the history of this competition.
Bob Ramsak for the IAAF