American athletics great suffered from heart problems and was aged 64 when he passed away
Sprint hurdles legend Greg Foster died on Sunday (Feb 19) after struggling in recent years with amyloidosis and having undergone heart surgery last month.
At his peak the American won a hat-trick of 110m hurdles world titles in Helsinki in 1983, Rome in 1987 and Tokyo in 1991 in addition to Olympic silver at the LA Games in 1984 and a world indoor 60m hurdles crown in Seville in 1991.
Incredibly consistent, he ranked in the world top 10 in his event a remarkable 15 times and achieved the No.1 ranking five times. Indoors he set 60m hurdles world records in 1986 and 1987. Global achievements aside, he won 10 US titles both indoors and out.
His personal best for 110m hurdles was 13.03, run at the 1981 Weltklasse meet in Zurich in which fellow American Renaldo Nehemiah became the first man to break the 13-second barrier with 12.93.
Only the Olympic gold medal eluded him and he was beaten narrowly by Roger Kingdom at the ’84 Games. His Olympic curse continued when he broke an arm in 1988 and failed to qualify for the Seoul Games, whereas in 1992 he was fourth in the US trials.
Born on April 4, 1958, in Chicago, Foster was also a two-time NCAA champion (in sprint hurdles and at 200m) while at UCLA in California and he was later inducted into the USATF hall of fame.
Colin Jackson, the two-time world champion, posted on Instagram: “My first global rostrum was at the world champs, and I’m sad to hear of the passing of a great champion Greg Foster.
“Greg was an inspiration for me. I watched his hurdle skill work, spoke to him how I could improve and competed with him… his input eventually allowed me to take the world title and the championship record off him… he was very much part of my success. RIP Greg, you’ll be missed.”
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