Italy's Nicola Ciotti and Czech Romana Dubnova may have been the winners at Sunday's (05) Monica Iagar Grand Prix in Bucharest, but it was the Romanian star and event's namesake, who stole the spotlight.
A packed hall of more than 1500 spectators gathered to pay tribute to Iagar, a former European indoor and outdoor High Jump champion, who decided after all to make a few out-of-competition jumps.
"Without any training I cleared 1.88, not bad," Iagar said, adding that she'll continue organizing the event. "I think there is no reason why I shouldn't organise the second Monica Iagar Grand Prix next year."
Officially ending a career that began 25 years ago, Iagar said that memories of this event will join the fondest memories of her competitive career.
"It was great and I will have memories forever. For my career, but also for this evening. Frankie Fredericks, Sarka Kasparkova, Erika Strasser all came along with top personalities of Romanian athletics."
Ciotti won the men's contest with a third attempt clearance at 2.30, ahead of Gennadiy Moroz of Belarus and American Tora Harris, who each managed 2.25 efforts. On the women's side, Dubnova won on the countback over fellow-Czech Barbora Lalakova, each clearing 1.95.
Both will compete next week in Banska Bystrica, where they will be jointed by freshly-minted World indoor record holder Kajsa Bergqvist, who leaped 2.08 in Arnstadt on Saturday (04).
1. Nicola Ciotti, ITA, 2.30
2. Gennadiy Moroz, BLR, 2.25
3. Tora Harris, USA, 2.25
4. Giulio Ciotti, ITA, 225
5. Stefan Vasilache, 2.21
6. Pavel Fomenko, RUS 2.21
1. Romana Dubnova, CZE, 1.95
2. Barbora Lalakova, CZE, 195
3. Dora Gyorffy, HUN, 1.92
=4. Viktoria Seryogina, RUS, 1.88
=4. Oana Pantelimon, ROM, 1.88
A correspondent for the IAAF