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08 March 2018, 01:49 | Nina Mathis
Mhlengi Gwala was riding near the University of KwaZulu-Natal when he was attackedALAMY
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.
Local police are reportedly investigating the matter as an attempted murder.
Doctors are confident they can save the athlete's legs, as the attackers missed a main artery. Colleagues said the blade appeared to be too blunt and the men started on his second leg before stopping and running away.
"Mhlengi doesn't know why they left [in the midst of the attack]", Jackson told TimesLIVE.
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 vehicle to take him to the hospital.
"What the damage is to his legs we don't know yet".
A personal message to the athlete has been shared on Facebook by Nathalie Asensi-Verdu Crawford.
Triathlete Henri Schoeman broke the news of the attack on his verified Twitter account and pledged his support for Gwala. They also tried to saw off his second leg. He became an athlete after overcoming drug and alcohol addictions, Jackson said.
"I have never heard of any enemies that he may have", Jackson told the Associated Press. 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 are a little bit confused, we don't know who is behind everything".
"Mhlengi doesn't know why they left". "We don't have the whole story yet".
Absolutely shocking and disgusting report out of South Africa today, where triathlete Mhlengi Gwala was allegedly the victim of a brutal chainsaw attack.
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