Tesch says no to retirement

Tesch says no to retirement

Five-time Paralympian and ‘old horse’ Liesl Tesch will not be putting herself out to pasture just yet.

The 39-year old Captain of the Australian women’s wheelchair basketball team has vowed to continue on to London in 2012 and her sixth Paralympics after winning a bronze medal in Beijing last night.

She wants a complete set of medals, she said, and that will drive her for the next four years.

“It means I can’t retire because I’ve got two silvers and a bronze and I need one of that other colour still.”

“So back in the wheelchair this old horse will go.’’

Tesch certainly has the form to keep playing after she lead the Gliders in scoring (16 points) and rebounding (14) in their 53-47 victory over Japan last night, sixteen years after she made her Paralympic debut in Barcelona in 1992.

She won Silver Medals in Athens and Sydney but is yet to win Gold.

Making her sixth Paralympic appearance could put Liesl in contention to carry the Australian flag at the opening ceremony in London, just like Australia’s flag-bearer in Beijing, Russell Short.

He has won six Paralympic gold medals in the javelin, shot put and discus events and is one of six athletes in Beijing appearing in their sixth Paralympic Games.

But Tesch and Short have a long way to go before overcoming Australian shooter Libby Kosmala’s ten Paralympics, which may even become 11 in London.

Tesch will be 43 years old at the London Games.

Australia’s most-decorated Paralympians in Beijing

10 Paralympics

Libby Kosmala (Shooting)

6 Paralympics

Russell Short (Athletics) Jodi Willis-Roberts (Athletics) Kieran Modra (Cycling) Chris Scott (Cycling) Darren Thrupp (Athletics) Michael Milton (5 Winter Paralympics, Summer Paralympics debut in cycling)

5 Paralympics Liesl Tesch (Wheelchair Basketball) Troy Sachs (Wheelchair Basketball) Anthony Clarke (Judo)