South African triathlete Mhlengi Gwala is recovering in a hospital after a roadside attack left him seriously injured. According to reports, Gwala was on a training ride on his bicycle before dawn in the coastal city of Durban when he was dragged off the road by three attackers, who attempted to cut off his legs with a dull blade. He was found by a local security company and taken to a hospital. Dennis Jackson, director of the Elite Athlete Development program for KwaZulu-Natal province, told The Associated Press that Gwala told him that the attackers sawed into his right calf, damaging muscle, nerves and bone. They missed a main artery, and surgeons are confident they can save the leg, Jackson said. Gwala became an excellent athlete after overcoming drug and alcohol addictions, and he represented South Africa at international competitions in Chicago in 2015 and in the Netherlands last year, Jackson said. The athlete’s long-term goals were to compete in half or full ironman triathlons.