Miruts Yifter

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 2
Silver 0
Bronze 1
Total 3
RolesCompeted in Olympic Games • Other
Full nameMiruts•Yifter
Used nameMiruts•Yifter
Nick/petnamesYifter the Shifter
Original nameምሩጽ•ይፍጠር
Other namesMuruse Yefter
Born15 May 1944 in Adigrat (ETH)
Died22 December 2016 in Toronto, Ontario (CAN)
Measurements162 cm / 53 kg
NOC Ethiopia


Miruts Yifter’s talent as a long-distance runner was only noticed when he joined the Ethiopian Air Force, after spending his youth working in factories and as a carriage driver. Yifter made his Olympic début at the 1972 München Olympics where he won a bronze medal in the 10,000 m. He also qualified for the 5K final, but missed the final when he arrived late to the stadium. He was unable to participate at the 1976 Montréal Olympics when Ethiopia boycotted, but four years later in Moskva, Yifter made up for his disappointments, winning the 5K/10K double by using his punishing sprint to outkick all his competitors.

Besides his Olympic medals, Yifter won the 10,000 m gold and 5,000 m silver at the 1973 All-African Games and won both the 5 and 10K at the inaugural African Championships in 1979. Yifter continued to compete into the early 1980s, running on Ethiopia’s gold medal winning team at the 1982 and 1983 IAAF International Cross-Country Championships. In the 1990s he emigrated to Canada, where he worked as an athletics coach until his death.

Personal Bests: 5000 – 13:13.82 (1977); 10000 – 27:40.96 (1972).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1972 Summer Olympics Athletics ETH Miruts Yifter
5,000 metres, Men (Olympic) DNS
10,000 metres, Men (Olympic) 3 Bronze
1980 Summer Olympics Athletics ETH Miruts Yifter
5,000 metres, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold
10,000 metres, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold

Other participations

Games Role NOC As
1980 Summer Olympics Flagbearer at the Closing Ceremony ETH Miruts Yifter
2008 Summer Olympics Flagbearer at the Opening Ceremony ETH Miruts Yifter


Date of birth also seen as 1 January 1938. His real date of birth is unknown; the date shown here is from his passport.