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Mulaudzi grabs SA honours

South Africa's Mbulaeni Mulaudzi - Source: NOCSAYomi Omogbeja (21/09/2006)

South Africa's Mbulaeni Mulaudzi, the Olympic silver medallist, has been honoured after returning home from a remarkable European season where he was undefeated in seven races.

Mulaudzi, the first black South African athlete to be ranked number one in the world, was given a hero’s welcome at a breakfast press conference organised by Athletics South Africa, the country's track and field governing body.

ASA President, Leonard Chuene, who presented the 26-year-old with a cheque of R50,000, said the reception to mark his remarkable lifetime achievement "reaffirms our commitment to put our athletes first".

"Mulaudzi has brought glory to South Africa once again, and we are extremely proud of what he has achieved throughout his career.

"Young up and coming athletes will do well to follow in his footsteps. He is truly a role model for many and a true star," he added.

Humble beginning

Mulaudzi came from a humble beginning having been born in the small dusty village of Muduluni in Venda, just north of Polokwane in South Africa and owed his success today partly to Makonde Makhumisane who discovered him.

He won the first of his South African national titles in 2001 and finished 6th in 1:45.01 in his first World Championships as a senior culminating in him lowering his PB to 1:44.01 at the Weltklasse meeting in Zurich.

He got his second major international medal, a bronze medal, at the 9th IAAF World Athletics Championships in Paris in 2003.

Mulaudzi also won gold at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Budapest in 2004 beating Morroco's Rashid Ramzi in a time of 1:45.71.

Despite a disastrous 2005 world athletics championships and 2006 African Championships where he was spiked and finished a disappointing 6th positions respectively, Mulaudzi stormed to victory in 1:43.09 - the fastest time of 2006 at the Rieti Grand Prix on August 27.

He concluded his season before returning home to South Africa with a cash swoop of $30,000 for winning the World Athletics Final 800m on September 9, a day after he turned 26.

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International Amateur Athletics Federation

African Athletics Confederation

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Last updated: 23-Sep-2006 1:22 PM

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