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Paralympian Sailor Robbed At Gunpoint In Rio

She was riding her bike.

21/06/2016 7:34 AM AEST | Updated July 15, 2016 12:54
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Liesl is a six-time Paralympian and won gold in London.

Paralympian Liesl Tesch and a teammate were threatened and robbed at gunpoint in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday, just metres from their hotel.

​Australian Sailing confirmed Tesch and team physiotherapist Sarah Ross were confronted by two men on Sunday morning and they stole their bikes at gunpoint.

Tesch said she was shoved to the ground during the robbery.

"I was threatened with the pistol and pushed to the ground," Tesch said in a statement.

"He took my bike, and the other perpetrator took Sarah's bike.

"We are both shaken, but physically we're both OK."

Tesch told Channel 9 she believed the robbers wanted money.

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Liesl Tesch and Daniel Fitzgibbon racing in 2012.

"I think he said 'dinero'. I speak some Spanish, so I lifted up my shirt and showed him I had no money," Tesch told Channel 9.

"And then he said something else, but I don't know what he said, lifted the gun up towards me [at her chest] and then pushed me in the shoulder and I just fell down on the cobblestones."

She told the ABC all visitors to Rio should keep in mind "when someone's got a gun at you, give them what they want".

Local 'tourist police' are investigating the incident and Australian Paralympic Team Chef de Mission Kate McLoughlin said it was a reminder to always exercise a high degree of caution while travelling in Rio.

"That advice is particularly important before the Paralympic Games period," McLoughlin said.

"We know there will be a hugely elevated level of security in place during the Paralympic Games, but for athletes and teams travelling there before the Games, there is a heightened need to be security conscious."

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