She won an incredible 140 consecutive competitions and broke the world record 14 times. Her 1961 record of 1.91 metres remained unbeaten for ten years. Balas was equally successful at the Olympic Games. In 1960 she jumped 1.85m to win the gold medal by 14 centimetres. She defended her title in 1964, winning by 10 centimetres with a final leap of 1.90m.