A South African athlete almost had his legs sawn off when he was attacked by a group of men while training in the early hours of Tuesday morning, media reports said.
"The victim was approached by three suspects who dragged him into the bush and they tried to cut his legs and he was severely injured before going to hospital". After the attackers fled, Gwala crawled to a road and flagged down a passing vehicle to take him to a hospital, Jackson said to the newspaper.
Dennis Jackson, director of the elite athlete program for KwaZulu-Natal, told The Guardian that the alleged attackers missed a main artery and surgeons are confident they can save the leg.
Gwala competed at the 2017 worldwide world triathlon grand final in Rotterdam in September in the 25-29 male category, finishing 45th.
Sandile Shange, Gwala's training partner, told the BBC that the triathlete was in stable condition at a hospital and that his injuries were not life-threatening.
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.
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Fellow South African triathlete said a "chainsaw" was used.
"Two guys were holding his upper body and the other guy was just cutting the leg, and I think when they got to the bone, they got stuck", Shange told the 702 radio station.
"They kept on cutting and when they got to the bone, because the saw was not that sharp, the saw got stuck", Shange continued.
A friend of mine, cycling in the Durban area was robbed by three people this morning, Then they attempted to saw off both legs with a chainsaw.
Reportedly, doctors say Gwala will be able to walk again. We don't know yet how far they went in.
Durban is located on South Africa's coast.