Mbulaeni Tongai Mulaudzi was a South African middle distance runner, and the 2009 world champion in the men's 800 metres. He carried the flag at the opening ceremony of the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece for his native country. Born in Muduluni, Transvaal Province, he 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. 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. 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.
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. At the 2006 World Indoor Championships he won a silver medal, and he repeated the feat two years later at the 2008 edition. He represented South Africa at the 2008 Beijing Olympics but was knocked out of the 800 m at the semi-final stage.
He made the 800 m final at four consecutive World Athletics Championships, and won his first gold medal in the event in 2009. He returned to competition in 2010 with a win at the Meeting Grand Prix IAAF de Dakar.