BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (NEWSnet/AP) — A 60-year-old woman’s dream to become the oldest Miss Universe in history ended Saturday at Argentina’s beauty pageant.

Alejandra Marisa Rodríguez, a hospital legal adviser whose entry into the competition had been cheered as a triumph over ageism, fell short of the Miss Argentina crown. 

Judges preferred Magali Benejam, a 29-year-old actress and model from Cordoba.

Rodríguez did win the title of “Best Face," one of several categories that included best evening gown and most elegant.

For the first time in its 73-year-history, the Miss Universe contest is open to participants age 18 and up.

“I believe a new door has opened for many people who perhaps did not have it easy,” Rodríguez told The Associated Press after the event. “It was adventure and I had no expectations of this, other than taking on a new challenge."

Even Benejam's victory would have been impossible a year ago, as the pageant previous capped contestant eligibility at age 28.

During the contest, Rodríguez thanked everyone who celebrated her success in the Miss Buenos Aires competition in April. Her win there generated a frenzy of media attention that vaulted her to local fame.

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