Delfo Cabrera

Delfo Cabrera
Personal information
Born(1919-04-02)April 2, 1919
Armstrong, Argentina
DiedAugust 2, 1981(1981-08-02) (aged 62)
Alberti, Argentina

Delfo Cabrera Gómez (April 2, 1919 – August 2, 1981) was an Argentine athlete, winner of the marathon race at the 1948 Summer Olympics in one of the most dramatic finishes in athletics history.


Born in Armstrong, Santa Fe Province, Delfo played football as a youth, but decided to turn to athletics after Juan Carlos Zabala's triumph at the 1932 Summer Olympics.

He moved to Buenos Aires in 1938 and began training in San Lorenzo de Almagro under Francisco Mura. In the same year, he won his first national championships title (in 5000 m). Over the years he would win 9 more titles, but none of them in marathon.

Delfo served in the army during the World War II where he met Juan Perón. After the war, being a friend of Perón, he was active member of the Justicialist Party. He received the Peronist Medal in 1949.

The London Olympic Games was Cabrera's first major international competition. Etienne Gailly from Belgium dominated the marathon race most of the way and until almost the very last moments. He was the first to enter the stadium, but with 400 m to go, Gailly fell down, exhausted, got up and fell again. It was like Dorando Pietri's dramatic finish 40 years before. Cabrera and Tom Richards of Great Britain managed to pass the staggering Gailly, Delfo winning 16.0 seconds ahead of Richards.

For 64 years, the victory remained the last Argentinian gold medal in an individual competition, until the victory of Sebastián Crismanich in taekwondo in the 2012 games.

Cabrera also participated in the 1952 Summer Olympics and was the flag bearer for Argentina at the opening ceremony; he finished in sixth place in the marathon, which was won by Emil Zátopek. Cabrera ended his athletics career after finishing sixth at the 1954 Boston Marathon. After that he taught physical education in several schools.

Delfo died in a car accident near the town of Alberti, Buenos Aires province.


Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing  Argentina
1948 Olympic Games London, United Kingdom Gold medal.svg Marathon 2:34:51.6
1952 Olympic Games Helsinki, Finland 6th Marathon 2:26:42.4


External links[]