Mbulaeni Mulaudzi (Posthumous)
The Order of Ikhamanga in
Profile of Mbulaeni Mulaudzi (Posthumous)
Mbulaeni Mulaudzi is regarded as one of the greatest South African track runners. Before his retirement as an 800-metre runner in 2009, Mulaudzi accumulated gold, silver and bronze medals by participating in competitions such as world championships. People who worked with him knew him as a man who approached every race with the intention to win. His rich trophy cabinet is evidence of this determination to settle for nothing other than victory.
Mulaudzi participated in the 2004 Olympics where he won his first major global athletics award, a silver medal in the 800-metre distance. However, the highlight of his career was in the 2009 World Championships of the International Association of Athletics Federations, where he won the ultimate award, a gold medal. Despite the fact that he only started training late for the 2009 World Championships, Mulaudzi clinched a gold medal, against the expectations of many in the athletics world.
His sportsmanship earned him praises from many esteemed athletics coaches such as Richard Mayer, who was quoted as saying, in reference to Mulaudzi’s winning spirit, that “he ran the boldest and most courageous 800-metre race possibly ever seen at Olympics and world championship levels, leading from start to finish to pull off an improbable victory”. He was indeed a modest man who was not easily overwhelmed by the spoils of glory in the glamorous world of international track and field. His athleticism was noticed as early as when he was 12 years old and his teacher encouraged him to focus on athletics.
Mulaudzi propelled the country into the apex of global athletics through his meticulous and flawless sportsmanship. To many coaches involved in track and field, he was a dream athlete to coach because his determination and tremendous sportsmanship are rare qualities. Mulaudzi’s achievements in the world athletics championships inspired many young South African aspirant athletes who saw him as a role model of excellence.