Greg Foster

Foster in 1984
Medal record
Men's athletics
Representing the  United States
Olympic Games
Silver medal – second place 1984 Los Angeles 110 m hurdles
World Championships
Gold medal – first place 1983 Helsinki 110 m hurdles
Gold medal – first place 1987 Rome 110 m hurdles
Gold medal – first place 1991 Tokyo 110 m hurdles
Goodwill Games
Gold medal – first place 1986 Moscow 110 m hurdles
World Indoor Championships
Gold medal – first place 1991 Sevilla 60 m hurdles

Gregory Foster (August 4, 1958 – February 19, 2023) was an American hurdler. He was the first person in the history of the IAAF World Championships in Athletics to win three consecutive 110 meters hurdles titles (1983, 1987, and 1991). Foster was the 1981 IAAF World Cup and the 1991 World Indoor hurdling champion.[1]

As well as his international titles, Foster was twice NCAA outdoor champion (1978 and 1980) in the 110 meters hurdles and was the NCAA 200 meters champion in 1979. He won 10 U.S. national titles, four of them outdoors in the 110 meters hurdles (1981, 1983, 1986, and 1987) and six indoors, in the 60 yard hurdles (1983, 1984, 1985), 55 meters hurdles (1987, 1988) and 60 meters hurdles (1991).

Foster broke the world indoor record for the 50 meters hurdles in 1985 (6.35 seconds) and tied that mark in 1987. He also broke the 60 meters hurdles world indoor record in 1987 with a time of 7.36. He was the American record holder in the 110 meters hurdles with a time of 13.22 seconds set at the 1978 NCAA Championships while competing for UCLA, second at the time only to Cuba's world record holder Alejandro Casañas. Foster's mark held as a NCAA meet record for decades and still stands as a UCLA record as of 2022.[2]

His personal best time for the 110 meters hurdles was 13.03, run at the Weltklasse Zürich meet in 1981 in which Renaldo Nehemiah became the first man the break the 13 second barrier, with his 12.93. This once again made Foster the second-fastest hurdler of all time. He was ranked in the top ten hurdlers in the world for 15 out of 16 years 1977 to 1992. Five of those years, he was ranked number one, 1982, 1983, 1986, 1987 and 1991.[3]

Foster was suspended from athletics for six months in 1990 after testing positive to ephedrine which he said was contained in his asthma medication.[4]

He retired from competition in 1996 and his many achievements saw him inducted into the USATF Hall of Fame in 1998.[2]

Personal life and death

Foster was born in Chicago, Illinois.

From 2015 until January 2020, he suffered from amyloidosis, a rare, life-threatening disease that does considerable damage to the heart. Despite this, he remained involved in the sport, helping the next generation as a coach. On January 18, Foster underwent heart transplant surgery at Barnes Jewish Hospital.[5]

Foster died on February 19, 2023, at the age of 64.[5][6]


  1. ^ "Three-time world 110m hurdles champion Foster dies". World Athletics. February 21, 2023. Retrieved February 21, 2023.
  2. ^ a b "Track & Field Legend Greg Foster Passes Away". UCLA Bruins. February 20, 2023. Retrieved February 20, 2023.
  3. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on June 26, 2011. Retrieved December 20, 2011.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on June 26, 2011. Retrieved December 20, 2011.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ a b Thompson, Scott (February 20, 2023). "Greg Foster, Olympic medalist and world champion hurdler, dead at 64". Fox News. Retrieved February 20, 2023.
  6. ^ Rowbottom, Mike (February 20, 2023). "Mike Rowbottom: Why Greg Foster's unremembered act of kindness will never be forgotten". Inside the Games. Retrieved February 20, 2023.