Johannesburg - International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach said Saturday that South African former world 800-metre champion Mbulaeni Mulaudzi, who died in a car crash on Friday, was a "true Olympian".
"Mbulaeni Mulaudzi was a true Olympian and a fine athlete. A world champion, he always showed huge commitment to his craft," Bach said in a statement.
"Our sympathies go to his family and friends, and to the whole sports family of the rainbow nation of South Africa.
"He proudly represented his new nation around the world, and at home his successes inspired a new generation of young people to take up sport.
"He will be missed by the Olympic family."
Mulaudzi, 34, was killed Friday on his way to Johannesburg for an athletics meeting.
The highlight of his career was a shock 800m victory in the 2009 world championships in Berlin and he also took silver at the 2004 Athens Olympics.