Shock after robbers try to saw off SA athlete's legs

Triathlete Mhlengi Gwala to undergo surgery after chainsaw attack        By DESTINY MAN REPORTER

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

Mhlengi Gwala was riding his bicycle for training before dawn and was ambushed by his assailants who reportedly tried to rob him first, then stepped up their attack even as Gwala offered them his phone and money. He dragged himself out of the bush onto the road and a private security vehicle picked him up and took him to the nearest hospital.

Jackson told The Guardian that Gwala had overcome drug and alcohol addictions to represent South Africa at worldwide competitions in Chicago in 2015 and in the Netherlands previous year. The three attackers sawed into Gwala's right calf and damaged muscle, nerves and bone, Jackson said.

Doctors are confident they can save the athlete's legs, as the attackers missed a main artery.

The assailants began cutting into Gwala's left leg before they fled, allowing the athlete to crawl to a road and flag a passing auto.

Police representative Nqobile Gwala told the BBC News that the case is being investigated as an attempted murder.

Mhlengi Gwala is a South African triathlete renowned for his dextrous pair of legs that have significantly bolstered his abilities.

"Blade too blunt and only got half way through one and started on the other".

"I have never heard of any enemies that he may have", Jackson told the Associated Press.

A crowdfunding initiative was announced on the Ironman South Africa Facebook page‚ as the organisation expressed its sadness at the attack on the triathlete‚ while sending him "best wishes and a speedy recovery". Absolutely disgusting! How safe are we on SA roads?

The lack of a robbery motive is seen by his friend as a deliberate attack to cripple him before the national championships in 10 days time at Bloemfontein, South Africa.

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