Photo: Mhlengi Gwala (Facebook)

According to a report from the Sunday Times, South African triathlete Mhlengi Gwala was attacked while training near the city of Durban on Tuesday by a group of men who tried to saw his leg off with a chainsaw.

News of the alleged attack was first shared on Twitter by fellow triathlete Henri Schoeman:

The Sunday Times spoke to Dennis Jackson, the director of the athlete development program that Gwala is a member of, who told the paper that Gwala was dragged into a bushy area by three men with a chainsaw. From the Times:

“I haven’t quite got to grips with exactly what happened. It seems like they pulled him into a bush while he was on a training ride. They had a chainsaw and went for one of his legs‚ which is the concerning part.

“We don’t yet know how far they went in‚ whether they were trying to cut it off‚ or what the circumstances are. All we know is that Mhlengi is alive‚ he is talking and that he is under medical care.

“We don’t have the whole story as yet.”

The attackers ultimately left Gwala for unknown reasons, at which point he was able to drag himself to the road and get help.

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[Sunday Times]