Kajsa Bergqvist was "overwhelmed with joy" at beating Heike Henkel's world indoor high jump record in Arnstadt, Germany, on Saturday.
Standing at 1.75m, Bergqvist is not the tallest of high jumpers
The Swede cleared 2.08m with her first attempt, beating the mark set by Germany's Henkel of 2.07m in 1992.
"I had a feeling something special could happen," she said. "I still can't completely take it in."
Henkel, who was in Arnstadt, said: "She deserves it because she's turned in consistent performances for years."
Bergqvist said she had been inspired by Henkel's presence at the High Jump with Music meeting.
"I was really motivated," she said. "I'm sure that was worth a centimetre or two extra."
Twice the world champion, Bergqvist is favourite to take the title again at next month's world championships in Moscow.
Russia's Yaroslav Rybakov cleared 2.37m to win the men's competition - the best in the world this year.