South African triathlete attacked with chainsaw during training ride

Mar 10, 2018, 01:04
South African triathlete attacked with chainsaw during training ride

The triathlete was attacked Tuesday morning in Durban, South Africa, by assailants who tried to saw off his legs, according to ESPN.

Fellow athletes have been tweeting about the attack, and offering their sympathies to Mr Gwala.

The attack reportedly happened in the early hours of Tuesday in Durban while Gwala was on a training ride.

Three men are believed to have dragged the athlete into a bush and attempted to hack at his leg with a chainsaw. They had a chainsaw and went for one of his legs‚ which is the concerning part.

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Police spokesperson Nqobile Gwala told the BBC that a case of attempted murder is being investigated.

The motives of the attack remain a mystery, as the three individuals didn't steal anything from Gwala, other than his chance to compete in the South African national championships taking place this month. Sandile Shange, a training partner of Gwala's, told the BBC that Gwala is in hospital and his injuries are not life threatening. Jackson was quoted on TimesLIVE: "The plastic surgeon said they are more than likely able to save the leg. He will be able to walk and run again but it will take some time", Shange said. They kept on cutting and when they got to the bone, because the saw was not that sharp, the saw got stuck.

He was severely injured after the men used a chainsaw to try and saw off his legs.

When the attackers reached bone, and were unable to continue because of the blunt blade, they fled, allowing Gwala to crawl back to the road where he was able to flag down a vehicle and be transported to hospital.

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Valverde, who knows the athlete through a sponsorship deal with online training site My Program Generator, said: "We know Mhlengi through our programme and the local competitions he's entered in the past". At first, the amount was set at a humble R50,000 (Dh15,000), but that has far exceeded the initial target, now sitting at Dh100,000.

Meanwhile, a crowdfunding initiative was set up for the athlete.

Investigations into the attach are still ongoing.

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