South Africa’s middle distance star Mbulaeni Mulaudzi passed away on Friday in a tragic accident. Mulaudzi was a South African middle distance runner, and the 2009 world champion in the men’s 800 metres. He was the flag bearer for South Africa at the opening ceremony of the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece and he became South Africa’s first black athlete to be ranked number one in the world.
His first international medal was a silver one at the 2000 African Championships in Athletics. At his first participation in the Commonwealth Games, Mulaudzi was first past the finish line to become the 2002 Commonwealth champion in the 800m race. He won a bronze medal at the 2003 World Championships the following year, in addition to a silver medal from the 2003 All-Africa Games.
Among his other achievements were winning a silver medal at the 2006 World Indoor Championships and he repeated the feat two years later at the 2008 edition. He also represented South Africa at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Says SASCOC CEO, Tubby Reddy, “We are deeply saddened and shocked by the unexpected death of our Olympian, Mbulaeni Mulaudzi. We have lost yet another icon in the South African sport who raised the nation’s flag high in international sporting events. We mourn with Mulaudzi’s family and friends. May his soul rest in eternal peace. We will always remember the legacy he has left in South African sport.”
“We are shocked and saddened by the untimely death of one of South Africa’s most gentle athletes. Our sincere condolences go to his family and the entire athletics family here and worldwide,” said SASCOC President, Gideon Sam.