04/06/2006 22:23 - (SA)
Joylene van Wyk , Die Volksblad
Bloemfontein - A talented long-distance athlete, Eileen Hein, 25, of the Kovsies Athletics Club, has been lucky to thwart possible rape and murder.
She was accosted by a man wielding a broken bottle at Goodyear Park, but she managed to get rid of him by hitting him in the face.
Hein, a biokineticist, was finishing off a practice run when the incident took place on the corner of Zola Budd and Att Horak streets.
She said she saw a man sitting on the pavement about 400m before the end of her run.
Two pupils of Hoërskool Navalsig were running ahead of her.
Hein said: "As soon as the athletes passed the man, he got up and ran after them.
Attacked with broken bottle
"He ran to the opposite side of the road and I stayed on the left side.
"As I was going into the corner, I turned around instinctively and the man attacked me with the broken bottle."
She had five deep cuts - three on the eyebrow, one on the nose and one on the lip.
Hein said the man started dragging her to nearly bushes.
"I hit him twice in the face, managed to pull free and ran to the marathon club."
Hein said she thought the man had intended raping her.
She was taken to a Bloemfontein clinic where the cuts were treated.
Veteran long-distance athlete Zola Budd visited Hein in the clinic on Saturday and gave her a can of mace.
Volksblad athletics writer Rufus Botha, who is Hein's coach, said one of the pupils told him about the incident and he rushed to take her to the clinic.
'Women are targets'
Botha said: "It's shocking that athletes who don't carry anything with them are attacked.
"Women are obviously the targets of these sick, unscrupulous attackers."
Botha said the flying squad did not react to his call.
Police said they were following up information, but no one had been arrested yet.
Photo of victim's facial injuries (Source: News24)