Former elite athlete Nick Bester has been admitted to hospital after being attacked at the weekend in an alleged assault.
Photographs surfaced on social media yesterday, apparently taken before Bester was admitted to hospital.
“He was attacked and badly beaten up by thugs while out training this morning,” said a source close to Bester. He was apparently left with three broken ribs, a broken cheekbone and severe tissue damage.
“He was attacked and he is apparently having surgery, but we don’t know any more than that at this stage,” said Adriaan Cronje, who worked as an administrator with Bester at the Nedbank Club.
Bester’s son, Shaun-Nick Bester, provided an update on his Instagram profile on Sunday, saying his father was busy training in the Magalies Mountain on Sunday morning. He was attacked from behind and hit with a rock over the head.
“They continued to hit him breaking three ribs, his cheek bone and he has a lot of trauma to the head and cut all over his body.
“They took of 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.
“He is in ICU at the moment and they are doing more scans etc,” he wrote
No stranger to danger
Bester, a former ironman triathlete who won the Comrades Marathon in KwaZulu-Natal in 1991, was no stranger to injury or attack.
In 2010 he was assaulted by three men while training in Pretoria.
He was kicked, beaten and threatened with a knife, and he was left with a broken rib, with his attackers stealing his bicycle.
In December 2016 he also landed up in the hospital and required surgery on a thumb after saving a friend from a potential shark attack in Plettenberg Bay.
One of the nation’s most versatile athletes during his competitive days, Bester is now the athlete manager at Nedbank Running Club.
He remains a prominent figure, particularly in road running circles, and is a regular-season at local races.