9 Jul 2016

Sport: FSM not taking any chances over zika in Rio

10:48 am on 9 July 2016

The Federated States of Micronesia is taking a cautious approach to health and safety risks at next month's Rio Olympics.

A number of top athletes have withdrawn from the upcoming global games over concerns about the Zika virus, including the world's top-ranked golfer, Jason Day, and Fiji's Vijay Singh.

The World Health Organisation said last month there was a "very low risk" of further spread of the mosquito-born virus as a result of the Olympics.

There have also been a number of security concerns in Rio.

Two members of the Australian Paralympic sailing squad were robbed at gunpoint in Rio a fortnight ago and other athletes have also be held up at knife and gunpoint in recent months.

The Secretary General of the Federated States of Micronesia's National Olympic Committee, Jim Tobin, said they were providing health education to their athletes and coaches.

He said they intend to take safety first approach upon arrival in Rio.

"We'll only be staying at the Games Village and going to the venues - we won't be doing any outside activities and that's just advice on our own.

"To tell you the truth that's because we come from a rural island and going to a big city we would do the same thing if we were travelling anywhere else...we're just going to keep them into the game-mode staying at the village, competing and when they're not competing they'll be watching other Olympic sports," he said.

"We're fairly positive that the Rio Organising Committee is very organised - I think it's things that are outside of the Organising Committee, which are the things that are in Rio the city itself: it has a lot of traffic, there's a lot of people, it's congested and there have been issues with security and safety.

"That's our main thing is just the safety of our athletes but we would do the same thing if we were travelling anywhere"

Jim Tobin said he has been in regular contact with officials around the Oceania region, including New Zealand IOC member Barry Maister, who is confident Rio will pull things together in time for the start of the Games on August 5.

Five athletes have been selected to represent FSM in Rio in swimming, athletics and boxing.

Rio beach Olympics 2016.

Rio beach Olympics 2016. Photo: Supplied