Australia urges security boost after Paralympian Tesch is robbed in Rio

Sydney: Australian Olympic chiefs Tuesday demanded Rio Games organisers immediately improve security after a decorated Paralympian and her physiotherapist were robbed at gunpoint, underlining a crime wave sweeping the city.

Liesl TeschLiesl Tesch

Sunday's incident comes after an escalation of thefts and robberies in the Brazilian host city ahead of the Olympics which open on August 5, with sportspeople among the victims.

The Australian Paralympic Committee said sailor and wheelchair basketball player Liesl Tesch and team official Sarah Ross were riding their bikes in broad daylight in a park on Sunday.

They were confronted by two men, one of them carrying a pistol, who demanded money before shoving them off the bikes and riding off on them. Kate McLoughlin, chef de mission of the Australian Paralympic team, said the pair, in Rio to train at the Paralympic sailing venue, were "understandably shaken but unhurt".

Australian Olympic Committee chef de mission Kitty Chiller called on Games organisers to mobilise security forces immediately rather than wait until nearer the event's official opening.

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