Stefka Kostadinova now

SOFIA, Oct 19, 2007 - Bulgarian athletics queen Stefka Kostadinova, whose high jump world record remains unbroken after two decades, said Friday she felt it was time to pass on her crown to someone else.
My record of 2.09 metres is still unbeaten after 20 years,'' Kostadinova told reporters. But what is the point of it remaining unbroken any longer? I think that next year Blanka Vlasic has to break it,’’ said the 42-year-old athlete, known not surprisingly at home as the queen of high jump''. Vlasic, a 24-year-old Croatian, won gold at the World Championships in Osaka this year with a jump of 2.05 metres. And she has already set her sights on Kostadinova's long-standing record with a personal best of 2.07 metres. Kostadinova jumped her record-setting 2.09 metres in the world championships in Rome in 1987, making her one of the longest-reigning record holders in the world of athletics. I am extremely happy that many women athletes have attempted to break my record recently and have come really close,’’ she said.
This proves that my achievement is truly feminine and perfectly within human reach.'' Kostadinova, who retired in 1998, has made 197 successful jumps above 2.00 metres, another achievement still unmatched by any other woman high-jumper. She now chairs the Bulgarian Olympic Committee and was recently elected vice president of the World Olympians' Association. For the past couple of years, she has been organising sports events for orphaned children in Bulgaria and marked the anniversary of her August 30, 1987 record with another such tournament in Sofia on Friday. This is the best way to celebrate the anniversary. These children really needed me to be here today,’’ Kostadinova said, visibly moved as the children crowded around her, asking her to pose for pictures and to sign their 20 years 2.09'' T-shirts. This is the best woman in Bulgaria! I know everything about her,’’ a 13-year-old boy from the crowd said, while a girl, also 13, cheered: I touched her!'' The children also unfurled a banner that read: 20 years 2.09 metres pride for Bulgaria.’’
I am twice as happy now that I have also made the children happy. My wish is to be able to organise sports events like this four or five times a year,'' Kostadinova said. But that, too, would not be enough. The state has to show more initiative in helping these kids,’’ Kostadinova said.

2.07 to 2.10 is no small increase especially at that level.