Tributes continue to pour in for Mulaudzi

Mbulaeni Mulaudzi, who died in a car crash yesterday, has been described a superstar on the athletic world.

South African middle distance runner, and the 2009 world champion in the men's 800 metres Mbulaeni Mulaudzi. Picture: Twitter @beningfield.

JOHANNESBURG - Friends and colleagues have paid tribute to athlete Mbulaeni Mulaudzi, calling him a legend, international superstar and a hero to young athletes.

The 800 metre Olympic gold medallist was killed in a car crash yesterday.

He was South Africa's flag carrier at the opening ceremony of the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens.

Mulaudzi became South Africa's first black athlete to be ranked number one in the world.

His first international medal was a silver at the 2000 African Championships in Athletics.

In 2009, he received his first title at world champion in the men's 800 metres.

Friend and former coach HezekiƩl Sepeng says Mulaudzi achieved everything he couldn't achieve.

He also called his death a massive loss for the athletic world.

"I've lost a friend. South Africa has lost one of the best."

Swimmer Ryk Neethling says he was always a great teammate.

"I think he was a superstar on the athletic world."

Despite all his medals, his colleagues and friends say he never received the recognition he deserved.