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Flood of global tributes for Mbulaeni Mulaudzi
- Updated: October 25, 2014
By Mark Etheridge
Tributes flooded in as South Africa woke up on Saturday morning to the sad news of the untimely passing of Olympic, Commonwealth and World Championships track medallist Mbulaeni Mulaudzi.
Mulaudzi, 34, was tragically killed in a car crash en route to an Athletics South Africa (ASA) meeting in Johannesburg on Friday.
One of South Africa’s most accomplished athletes on the track, he was also one of the most unassuming people off it.
Again, blessed with a blistering finish and a competitive nature during races, when the racing was done and dusted there were times when he seemed almost bemused by the interest in his exploits and was never one to seek the media spotlight and headline hogging.
After winning gold at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, England flag-bearer Mulaudzi went on to grab silver at the 2004 Athens Olympics in Greece and in 2009 he added the world championship title to his name in Berlin, Germany.
After injury finally put paid to his competitive career, true to the person he was, Mulaudzi was ever keen to put back into the sport that brought him so much joy. At the time of his passing he was involved in various training groups in the Limpopo province.
As recently as this week he was hard at work on enriching the sport as can be seen by a comment on his Facebook page: ‘We looking at all ages, not just athletics,we also do fitness for all sporting codes, even if you are not an athlete but you requre personal training, we do that for you, can contact me.’
Below are just some of the hundreds of tributes that came in for one of South Africa’s best track and field athletes ever, including disbelief from the man who beat him to gold in Athens, Russia’s Yuriy Borzakovskiy:
IAAF WORLD ATHLETICS CLUB
The IAAF is deeply saddened to hear the news that 2009 world 800m champion Mbulaeni Mulaudzi died in a car crash this afternoon. RIP.
HEZEKIEL SEPENG (1996 Olympic 800m silver medallist
I will miss you my friend thanks for being there when I was down You picked me up as a brother and will never forget that. Rest in peace till we meet again Champ
KHOTSO MOKOENA (fellow Olympic medallist)
‘I’ve lost a brother, a friend, and a national hero!!!Sad news to my soul.. I’ve just learned the news that Mbulaeni has passed away! Dedicated all his life to track and field. Conquered the world many times on the 800m not to mention his Olympic Games silver medal in Athens!! May his soul rest in peace! Death be not proud!’
OFENTSE MOGOWANE (fellow Olympian)
RIP legend off a 800m South Africa and world athletic will miss you .
WAYDE VAN NIEKERK (2014 Commonwealth silver medallist)
You inspired and showed us the way… RIP sir you safe in the Lords arms..
YURIY BORZAKOVSKIY (2004 Olympic 800m champion)
((((((((((((( How so?
LORNAH KIPLAGAT (Kenya’s world road and cross-country champion)
Extremely sad to hear South African 800 m legend and friend Mulaudzi died today in an accident. R.I.P.
MAPASEKA MAKHANYA (top road runner)
Yah neh R.I.P Mbulayeni “Legend” Mulaudzi so heart broken.
BLANCHE MOILA (veteran KZN road runner)
TRAGIC-LOSS , Heartfelt thoughts with Family,Friends, DURING BEREAVEMENT,HE will be sorely missed in ATHLETICS
MALCOLM PRINGLE (veteran Paralympian medallist)
Rest in peace my man. You will always be a legend
IRVETTE VAN ZYL (London Olympian, marathon)
Feeling so sad to hear the new of Mbulaeni Mulaudzi death! He was Gr8 man & He will always stay a legend!!
AFRICAN ATHLETICS UNITED (track and field website)
So sad to hear that former 800m world champion Mbulaeni Mulaudzi died in a car crash earlier today. RIP Mbulaeni.
LEGOBANG PHALULA (leading road and cross-country runner)
I still don’t believe that his gone to soon, am just imagine his wife and family how are they feeling. Rest in peace team mate.
LUNGI RASHIED BIKWANI (top SA coach)
Mbulaeni ‘Silver Bullet ‘Mlaudzi kufa awunoni R.i.p ndaa
HILTON LANGENHOVEN (multiple Paralympic medallist)
R.I.P our Great Legend
WIAAN VILJOEN (2012 SA Olympian, badminton)
Thoughts go out to Mbulaeni Mulaudzi’s family. He was a great champion!
ERNST VAN DYK (SA Paralympics legend)
Absolutely shattered to hear about the death of South African Sports Hero, Mbulaeni Mulaudzi. RIP champ!
FRIK VERMAAK (former SA President)
RIP Mbuli Mulaudzi, you were one of our best ever.
RYNARDT VAN RENSBURG (up and coming 800m runner)
2009 World Athletics Champion. My 800m idol. The most down to earth athlete I ever met. Mr 800m. Passed away after a car accident today. I’m shocked and heart broken by this news. RIP Mr 800m you will never be forgotten for the athlete and person you were. The best! RIP Mbuli
YOSEF HUNDE (up and coming Ethiopian runner)
Mbulaeni Mulaudzi world 800m champion died RIP he was a hero in africa
NEVILLE RAPHETANE (ran against Mulaudzi)
Guys I cant sleep I have lost a brother and a friend Mbuli Mulauzie Mbuli Mulaudzi former Olympics 800m silver medalist, I cant forget my race with him first time I qualified for the Cucsa games in the year 2000, we were both juniors our first year in tertiary.
MICHELLE HOPKINS (national race walker)
What a hero and legend.. i remember the days we shared a track at UJ.. i so admired your discipline and strength.. rest in peace Mbuli.
CINDY PETERS (former SA triple jump champion)
When someone as special as mbuli passes away. My heart bleeds buckets. My thoughts are with the family of the legend… World champion. Friend. I can’t explain.