Romanian high jumper Iolanda Balas dies at 79

Updated 3/11/2016 10:18 AM

BUCHAREST, Romania -- Iolanda Balas, a two-time Olympic high jump champion from Romania, died Friday following gastric complications. She was 79.

Romania's track and field federation said Balas died at the Elias Hospital in Bucharest.

Balas, the first Romanian woman to win an Olympic gold medal, took first at the 1960 Rome Games and the 1964 Tokyo Games.

She set her first world record of 1.75 meters in 1956. In 1961, she set a world record of 1.91, which stood for 10 years.

Balas retired in 1967 and served as chairman of the Romanian track federation from 1988 to 2002.

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