Triathlete Has Legs Nearly Sawed Off In Mysterious Attack While Training

Mhlengi Gwala1

Mhlengi Gwala, 26, had been cycling along Francois Road, near the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) when he was accosted by the men.

Gwala was on a training ride on his bicycle before dawn in the coastal city of Durban when he was dragged off the road by three attackers, and they attempted to cut off his legs with a tiresome blade.

Dennis Jackson‚ director of the SA Elite Athlete Development programme - which Gwala is a part of - said the motive for the attack remained a mystery. Luckily, he is expected to walk again because the chainsaw the men used was reportedly too blunt to cut through his flesh and bones, according to TMZ.

Mhlengi Gwala previously represented South Africa at worldwide competitions in Chicago and the Netherlands in 2015 and 2017 respectively.

The men reportedly were interrupted by a security guard and ran away - allowing the bloody athlete to crawl to a road and flag down a auto to take him to the hospital.

Gwala's legs were X-rayed and he is scheduled for an operation on Wednesday.

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

South Africa suffers some of the world's highest crime rates, and saw 34 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants in the 2015-2016 period, said police.

The athlete's training partner Sandile Shange has told the BBC that Gwala had been involved in a potentially-fatal attack involving a chainsaw and an attempt at amputating his prized set of limbs.

The athlete said he offered the attackers his cellphone, wallet and bike - but they still went straight for his legs and spoke a language he couldn't understand. They were cutting one foot, he was fighting and screaming, and when they got to the bone they got stuck.

"Mhlengi doesn't know why they left".

Mhelgi Gwala, 27, was out on a training ride when he was pulled into bushes by his attackers, who cut half way through one leg before starting on the the other.

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