South African triathlete attacked with chainsaw during training ride

08 March, 2018, 03:49 | Author: Rosalie Gross
  • Mhlengi Gwala1

"He tried offering them his cellphone and money, but they pinned him down and tried to saw off his leg", said his athletic sponsor Sue de la Porte, via News 24.

Gwala, who is seen as a very promising athlete, will be undergoing leg surgery.

South Africa's deputy sports minister, Gert Oosthuizen, described the attack on the "star athlete" as "totally unacceptable" and said police are investigating. Blade too blunt and only got half way through one and started on the other.

"We don't yet know how far they went in‚ whether they were trying to cut it off‚ or what the circumstances are", explained Dennis Jackson, director of South Africa's Elite Athlete Development program. Sandile Shange, a training partner of Gwala's, told the BBC that Gwala is in hospital and his injuries are not life threatening. He was found by a local security company and taken to hospital. "They tried the other leg".

Gwala has represented South Africa twice in worldwide competitions but will miss the South African Triathlon Championships in two weeks.

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

"He will be able to walk and run again but it will take some time", Shange said. "He is a wonderful ambassador for the sport". He became an athlete after overcoming drug and alcohol addictions, Jackson said.

He was able to escape, but only after the men had cut into both of his legs.

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

"A case of attempted murder was opened at Umbilo police station for investigation."Gwala competed at the 2017 International World Triathlon Grand Final in Rotterdam in September in the 25-29 male category, coming in 45th position".



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