Mbulaeni Mulaudzi

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Mbulaeni Mulaudzi
Osaka07 D7A Mbulaeni Mulaudzi.jpg
Mulaudzi at the 2007 World Championships
Personal information
NationalitySouth African
Born(1980-09-08)8 September 1980
Muduluni, South Africa
Died24 October 2014(2014-10-24) (aged 34)
Witbank, Mpumalanga, South Africa
Event(s)800 metres
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)800 metres: 1:42.86[1]
1500 metres: 3:38.5[1]

Mbulaeni Tongai Mulaudzi (8 September 1980 – 24 October 2014) was a South African middle distance runner, and the 2009 world champion in the men's 800 metres.

His first global medal was a silver at the 2000 African Championships in Athletics.[2] He later won a bronze at the 2003 World Championships in Athletics, which came a year after his victory at the 2002 Commonwealth Games. Mulaudzi was the gold medallist at the 2004 IAAF World Indoor Championships and won two further silver medals at the competition in 2006 and 2008. He was runner-up at continental level on three occasions, taking the 800 m silver at the African Championships in Athletics in 2000 and at the All-Africa Games in 2003 and 2007.[2] He carried the flag for his native country at the opening ceremony of the 2004 Summer Olympics, where he became an Olympic silver medallist.

His personal best for the 800 m was 1:42.86 minutes. He ranked first on time in the 2006 and 2007 seasons, becoming the first Black South African to achieve such a feat.[3]


Born in Muduluni, Transvaal Province, he had his first success as a teenager at the 1999 African Junior Athletics Championships, where he won the 800 m title.[4]

His first senior international medal was a silver at the 2000 African Championships in Athletics. He competed at the 2001 World Championships in Athletics and finished sixth in his first global final. At his first Commonwealth Games, Mulaudzi was first past the finish line to become the 2002 Commonwealth champion in the 800 m.[5] 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.[5]

He came to prominence in 2004, when he won at the World Indoor Championships and reached the podium at the 2004 Athens Olympics to win an Olympic silver medal.[5] That year he was inducted into the University of Pretoria Sport Hall of fame.[6]

In the 2006 season he ranked number one in the world for the season – South Africa's first black athlete to do so.[7] He was made South African Sportsman of the Year in recognition of this.[8] At the 2006 World Indoor Championships he won a silver medal, and he repeated the feat two years later at the 2008 edition.[5] He represented South Africa at the 2008 Beijing Olympics but was knocked out of the 800 m at the semi-final stage. [9]

He made the 800 m final at four consecutive World Athletics Championships, and won his first gold medal in the event in 2009. He set a lifetime best of 1:42.86 minutes later that year at the Rieti Meeting.[10] He returned to competition in 2010 with a win at the Meeting Grand Prix IAAF de Dakar.[11]


Mulaudzi died in a car crash on 24 October 2014 at the age of 34.[12] He was en route to an Athletics South Africa athletics meeting when his car overturned.[13][14] His death was confirmed by his manager, Peet van Zyl, who said: "Mr Mulaudzi was surely one of the most decorated track athletes that South Africa has ever seen and unfortunately never had the recognition from the federation for all his achievements, so it is indeed a sad day."[15] The President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, noted his death, saying that he was one of the nation's most talented athletes. Presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj mirrored this, saying that the nation had lost a hero and that Mulaudzi had flown the South African flag through his athletics.[13] The International Association of Athletics Federations, the governing body for the sport, said it was "deeply saddened" to hear of Mulaudzi's death.[16] The International Olympic Committee expressed sadness and sympathy towards the sports family of South Africa and Mulaudzi's friends and family.[17] South African athletes Caster Semenya and Khotso Mokoena used Twitter to express their emotions following Mulaudzi's death. Semenya said: "Just lost a brother, a friend very good friend! May your soul rest in peace Mbulayeni Mulaudzi! I love you man will always love you Champ!" and Mokoena said: "I've lost a brother, a friend, and a national hero! Sad news to my soul..."[18]

Personal bests[edit]


Mulaudzi was awarded the Order of Ikhamanga (posthumously) in 2015.[19]

Competition record[edit]

Year Competition Venue Position Notes
1999 African Junior Championships Tunis, Tunisia 1st 800 metres
2000 African Championships Algiers, Algeria 2nd 1:46.28
2001 World Championships Edmonton, Canada 6th 1:45.01
2002 Commonwealth Games Manchester, England 1st 1:46.32
African Championships Rades, Tunisia 3rd 1:46.20
2003 World Championships Paris, France 3rd 1:44.90
IAAF World Athletics Final Monte Carlo, Monaco 5th
All-Africa Games Abuja, Nigeria 2nd 1:46.44
2004 World Indoor Championships Budapest, Hungary 1st 1:45.71
Summer Olympics Athens, Greece 2nd 1:44.61
IAAF World Athletics Final Monte Carlo, Monaco 5th
2005 World Championships Helsinki, Finland 12th (semis) 1:45.73
IAAF World Athletics Final Monte Carlo, Monaco 5th
2006 World Indoor Championships Moscow, Russia 2nd 1:47.16
African Championships Bambous, Mauritius 6th 1:47.94
IAAF World Athletics Final Stuttgart, Germany 1st
IAAF World Cup Athens, Greece 3rd 1:45.14
2007 All-Africa Games Algiers, Algeria 2nd 1:45.54
World Championships Osaka, Japan 7th 1:47.52
IAAF World Athletics Final Stuttgart, Germany 2nd
2008 World Indoor Championships Valencia, Spain 2nd 1:44.91
Summer Olympics Beijing, China 11th (semis) 1:46.24
IAAF World Athletics Final Stuttgart, Germany 6th
2009 World Championships Berlin, Germany 1st 1:45.29
IAAF World Athletics Final Thessaloniki, Greece 3rd


  1. ^ a b All-Athletics. "Profile of Mbulaeni Mulaudzi".
  2. ^ a b "SASCOC mourns Mulaudzi's death". Sport24. 25 October 2014. Archived from the original on 28 October 2014. Retrieved 28 October 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  3. ^ FACTBOX-The late Mbulaeni Mulaudzi. Reuters (2014-10-24). Retrieved on 2014-10-25.
  4. ^ African Junior Championships. GBR Athletics. Retrieved on 2014-10-25.
  5. ^ a b c d "Mbulaeni Mulaudzi killed in car accident". eNCA. 24 October 2014. Retrieved 27 October 2014.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 17 July 2011. Retrieved 19 January 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Hall of fame Retrieved 25 June 2011
  7. ^ From dusty Village to World Traveler - Mbulaeni Mulaudzi Archived 14 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine. Time to Run. Retrieved on 2009-08-23.
  8. ^ Winners Archived 13 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine. SASports Awards. Retrieved on 2014-10-25.
  9. ^ "Ex-world 800 metres champion Mbulaeni Mulaudzi dies in car crash". ABC. Reuters. 24 October 2014. Retrieved 27 October 2014.
  10. ^ Former world 800m champion Mulaudzi dies. IAAF (2014-10-24). Retrieved on 2014-10-25.
  11. ^ Turner, Chris (2010-04-24). Wlodarczyk blasts out 75.13m release in Dakar – IAAF World Challenge Archived 27 April 2010 at the Wayback Machine. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-04-25.
  12. ^ News, Eyewitness. "SA Olympic athlete killed in car crash". Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  13. ^ a b Mdhuli, Nomsa (25 October 2014). "'SA has lost one of its most talented athletes'". Eyewitness News. Retrieved 25 October 2014.
  14. ^ "Details of Mulaudzi crash emerge". Sport24. SAPA. 25 October 2014. Retrieved 26 October 2014.
  15. ^ Said, Nick (25 October 2014). "Mbulaeni Mulandzi killed in car accident in South Africa, confirms manager of former 800 metres world champion". Daily Mail. Reuters. Retrieved 26 October 2014.
  16. ^ "FORMER WORLD 800M CHAMPION MULAUDZI DIES". IAAF. 24 October 2014. Archived from the original on 24 October 2014. Retrieved 25 October 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  17. ^ "IOC statement on the death of South African Olympian Mbulaeni Mulaudzi". International Olympic Committee. 25 October 2014. Archived from the original on 25 October 2014. Retrieved 25 October 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  18. ^ "Caster pays tribute to Mulaudzi". Sport24. 24 October 2014. Archived from the original on 25 October 2014. Retrieved 26 October 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  19. ^ Ngwenya, Jabulile S. (7 December 2015). "Zuma to bestow National Orders awards". Independent Online. Archived from the original on 10 December 2015. Retrieved 8 December 2015. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)

External links[edit]