Kebede Balcha

Biographical information

TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameKebede•Balcha
Used nameKebede•Balcha
Born7 September 1951
Died10 July 2018 in Toronto, Ontario (CAN)
Measurements166 cm / 49 kg
AffiliationsEthiopian National Defense Force, (ETH)
NOC Ethiopia


Kebede Balcha became known internationally when he won the Athina Marathon in 1977 and 1979. He also won the Montréal Marathon in 1979, 1981, 1983, and 1985. Balcha was a marathon silver medalist at the inaugural Athletics World Championships in 1983, finishing behind Australian Rob de Castella. Balcha won the 1979 African Championships, adding a silver medal in 1985. He won bronze medals at the 1987 All-African Games and the 1988 African Championships. In all, Balcha won 7 of his 29 marathons. In 1999 he was among a group of eight Ethiopian sports people who sought asylum in Toronto.

Personal Best: Mar – 2-10:03 (1983).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1980 Summer Olympics Athletics ETH Kebede Balcha
Marathon, Men (Olympic) DNF

Special Notes