Johannesburg - Recounting the 2004 Athens Olympic Games 800m final, Hezekiel Sepeng on Thursday paid tribute to former world champion Mbulaeni Mulaudzi.
"I was a friend of Mulaudzi on the track and off the track and from 2001 to 2005 we made sure we raised the South African flag high," Sepeng said at a memorial service in Johannesburg.
Mulaudzi was killed in a car accident in Mpumalanga on Friday, while on his way to Johannesburg. He lost control of his car.
Mulaudzi was the flag bearer for South Africa at the opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics in Athens.
He became South Africa's first black athlete to be ranked number one in the world.
His list of accolades include titles at the World Championships, World Indoor Championships, and the African Championships.
After a decorated career spanning over a decade, the 34-year-old retired last year.
Sepeng spoke with comic flair how the younger Mulaudzi beat him in the Olympic final despite increasing the pace and having a lead over him.
"I picked up the pace and with 200m I heard a 'tsi' (coming from Mulaudzi) and I thought I was going for the kill, he is a young boy," Sepeng said.
"With 100m to go I said 'I must finish him'. I tried to push. I heard 'tsi' and this time he was passing.
"I would like to say Mbuli, goodbye my friend. Thanks for what you've done for me and for what you've done for South Africa."