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Mark Foster's Biography

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Who is Mark Foster?

Mark Foster, who is 6'6", was born on 12 May 1970 in Essex.

Mark Foster was rated the world's leading swimmer for his age when he was 11.

He was first selected for Great Britain in 1985 and in the following year he won his first international medal in the 4x100m freestyle at the Commonwealth Games.

Mark Foster became a six times World Champion, and 10 times European Champion. He also broke eight world records.

Foster retired in 2006, but came out of retirement just a year later.

2008 saw Mark compete in his fifth Olympic Games and he carried the British flag at the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony. Mark Foster trained with Strictly Come Dancing contestant Colin Jackson, who was the runner-up in 2005.

They were both friends of Ross Baillie, the Scottish high hurdler who died after an allergic reaction to nut traces in a sandwich. The Independent asked Mark Foster about Ross:

"I was with Ross when he had the sandwich, and I took him to hospital. He was probably the first person who was close to me, whom I saw every day, who died. The memories of him will stay with me forever, and they have made me realise how precious life is."

In the 2008 series of Strictly Come Dancing, Mark Foster partnered Hayley Holt. They were voted off in week 6.

Mark Foster has been a regular part of the BBC's team covering swimming events.

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