US sprinter Houston McTear (Getty Images) © Copyright
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Former world record-holder McTear dies

The IAAF is deeply saddened to learn that US sprinter Houston McTear died on Sunday (1) after a long battle with cancer. He was 58 years old.

Born in February 1957 in Okaloosa County, Florida, McTear excelled at an early age. As an 18-year-old, competing at the Florida High School Championships, McTear equalled the world record of 9.0 in the 100 yards.

The following year, while still a junior and a high school athlete, he clocked 10.16 to finish second in the 100m at the US Olympic Trials and qualify for the 1976 Games in Montreal, but an injury forced him to withdraw from the Olympics.

As a 20-year-old and a member of the Muhammad Ali Track Club, he set a 100m PB of 10.13, the second-fastest time of 1977. In early 1978, he set a world best of 6.54 over 60m.

The US boycott of the 1980 Games prevented his participation at the Moscow Olympics, kick-starting what was to be a difficult decade for McTear.

He made a brief comeback in the early 1990s and married Swedish sprinter Linda Haglund.

McTear had been suffering from lung cancer for the past few years, which is said to have recently spread to other parts of his body.