Former Comrades champion Nick Bester in ICU after being attacked during robbery

Former Comrades champion Nick Bester is in ICU after being attacked while training in the Magalies mountains near his house.

Former Comrades champion Nick Bester is in ICU after being attacked whle training. Picture: @BESTERNICK/Twitter

Former Comrades champion Nick Bester is in ICU after being attacked while training in the Magalies mountains near his house on Sunday.

In a post on Instagram, Bester's son Shaun-Nick said his father had been hit on the head with a rock, stripped of his clothes and beaten up. The former elite triathlete sustained three broken ribs, a broken cheekbone, and cuts all over his body.

Shaun-Nick said his father was in ICU where he will be undergoing more scans. "He was kicked, beaten, and threatened with a knife, and he was left with a broken rib, with his attackers stealing his bicycle. They took off his clothes and tied him up and left him in the mountain. He managed to escape down the mountain by sliding on his back until he was right against someone’s fence."

Adriaan Cronje, an administrator at the Nedbank Running Club, where Bester is the athlete manager, told the Citizen, "He was attacked and he is apparently having surgery, but we don’t know any more than that at this stage."

This wasn't the first time Bester has been attacked in a robbery. He survived a similar attack in 2010 while out training. And in 2016, he sustained injuries while saving a friend from a potential shark attack in Plettenberg Bay.

Bester started running the Comrades in 1985 and finished 67th in a time of 6:38 to earn a silver medal. He finished 25th in 1987. His third attempt saw him earning his first gold medal when he finished third. The following year he followed it up with a fourth position in 1990. In 1991 Bester eventually won the 66th Comrades in a time of 5:40:53.