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08 March 2018, 01:42 | Tracey Rhodes
Discovery Mhlengi Gwala
With a promising sporting career, Gwala had already competed in two worldwide triathlons.
Dennis Jackson, director of Elite Athlete Development program, told TimesLive that a motive for the attack remained a mystery.
Police spokesperson Nqobile Gwala told the BBC the attackers could be charged with attempted murder. "Two of them held him down while the other started on his leg". They missed a main artery, and surgeons are confident they can save the leg, Jackson said.
His athletic sponsor, Sue de la Porte, said Gwala was then dragged into the surrounding bushes by the men who then attempted to saw the 26-year-old's leg off. Doctors believe they can save the leg that took the brunt of the punishment, AP reported.
Gwala was taken to a hospital when found on the side of the road by a security company.
A top South African triathlete was out training when he was suddenly attacked by three men who tried to cut his legs off with a saw.
The attack reportedly happened in the early hours of Wednesday in Durban while Gwala was on a training ride.
Gwala's ordeal is eerily similar to the 1994 beating of Olympic figure skater Nancy Kerrigan, whose leg was nearly broken by Tonya Harding's husband - an attack that left other athletes reeling. 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.
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. We don't know yet how far they went in. From what we understand‚ he is in a cast.
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