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

South African triathlete Mhlengi Gwala 27 was out cycling when three men attacked him and attempted to saw off his legs

The BBC reports that Gwala was training to compete at the national championships at the end of March.

South African triathlete Mhlengi Gwala is undergoing surgery after three men reportedly attempted to cut off his legs with a chainsaw.

Dennis Jackson‚ director of the Elite Athlete Development programme, of which Mr Gwala is part, said it was "bizarre", even in the context...

Provincial police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said that the attack had not been reported and could not comment further on the issue. "When they saw it was getting stuck they started on the other leg", Shange continued.

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

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Gwala was reportedly training near the University of KwaZulu-Natal on Tuesday morning at around 3.15am when he was approached by three men and dragged into the bushes. They instead dragged him to the side of the road into nearby bushes.

Triathlete Henry Schoemen, who won bronze for South Africa at the Rio Olympics in 2016, called the attack on Gwala "disgusting".

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.

"I have never heard of any enemies that he may have", said Jackson, via AP. The athlete had offered his cellphone, wallet and bicycle to the assailants, who still went for his legs and were speaking in a language that Gwala could not understand, Jackson said. "He is a wonderful ambassador for the sport".

Durban is located on South Africa's coast.

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