The blade was too blunt and only got half way through one leg and started on the other.
Gwala said that he offered the 3 men his wallet, cellphone, and expensive bike. They took the items and proceeded to cut him.
The men used a saw to cut into his right calf, damaging muscle, nerves, and bone. The group then went for his second leg and caused some damage before fleeing from the scene.
Gwala managed to crawl to a road, where he was able to get help from a passing motorist.
Thankfully, the suspects missed a main artery and surgeons are confident they can save the leg.
Gwala represented South Africa at international competitions in the United States in 2015 and in the Netherlands in 2017.
According to Dennis Jackson, director of the elite athlete program for KwaZulu-Natal province, other athletes expressed concern over the attack as they routinely get up early in the morning when it still dark outside and few people are on the roads.
So far, police have no idea as to why Gwala was targeted.
Triathlete Henri Schoeman wrote on social media: “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. Blade too blunt and only got half way through one and started on the other. Absolutely disgusting! How safe are we on SA roads?”