Thousands raised for chainsaw attack athlete

A crowdfunding campaign has raised more than $33,000 (£24,000) for the South African athlete who was attacked by a gang who tried to saw his legs off.

The fund was set up after news of the horrific attack on Mhlengi Gwala began to spread around the world.

He was doing triathlon training in Durban when he was pulled into bushes by attackers who used a chainsaw to cut into his legs before he escaped.

He is now “doing well” after surgery, an official told the BBC.

Dennis Jackson, director of the elite athlete programme for KwaZulu-Natal province, said they would be doing everything possible to get Mr Gwala back on his feet.

Mr Jackson said he was sure Mr Gwala – a “shining ambassador” for triathlon in South Africa – would compete again, although at what level remained to be seen.

But he added: “Don’t be surprised if in a year or two, we see him back on the world stage.”

The story sent shockwaves through South Africa and beyond, leading one South African to set up the BackaBuddy fundraising page to “get Mhlengi back on his bike”.

TNT Sport

Photo Credit: Tuitealo

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