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Security now real concern for Paralympians

  • Security now real concern for Paralympians

    The Australian Paralympic sailor (L) held up at gun point in Rio says security is a real concern.

The Australian Paralympic sailor held up at gun point in Rio is now concerned security could be a real issue heading into the city's Games.

Liesl Tesch and team official Sarah Ross were allegedly threatened with a pistol, pushed to the ground and had their bike stolen on Sunday in what they perceived to be a safe area, and now the 2012 gold medallist is warning the threat is real.

"It's a pretty scary place to be," Tesch told ABC News 24.

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"This is not a statistic in this city, it's a reality.

"My message to family and friends is that you can't be too careful here."

However Tesch, who has also represented Australia in wheelchair basketball, said she would be having no second thoughts about competing in Rio.

"I backed up and got on the water straight after the incident that day," she said.

"It's just what I do as an athlete.

"I'm here to do the best I can out on the water for the Australian sailing paralympic team and chase that gold medal."

The pair are the third group of Olympic sailors to be attacked in the city in the past 18 months, and has raised the concern of Australian authorities.

"The safety of our team members is paramount," CEO of Australian Sailing, Matt Carroll said on Monday.

"We will continue to work with the Australian Paralympic Committee and Australian Federal Police to ensure our team has an appropriate level of security to ensure their safety in the lead-up to, and during, both the Olympic and Paralympic Games."

The incident has been reported to the Australian Federal Police.

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