Sprinter accepts surprise proposal from running guide at Tokyo Paralympics

She may have missed out on a medal, but sprinter Keula Nidreia Pereira Semedo was surprised with something else at the finish line at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.

The visually impaired Paralympian of Cape Verde had just completed the women’s 200m T11 heat when her fellow runners and guide, Manuel Antonio Vaz da Veiga, gathered around her on the track to ask for her hand in marriage.

In a video of the proposal shared by the NBC Olympics Twitter account, Vaz da Veiga proceeded to get down on one knee and propose to the athlete, putting the ring on her finger to cheers from the Tokyo crowd.

After accepting the proposal, the sprinter can then be seen embracing her running and romantic partner with a smile on her face.

Semedo, 32, lives in Portugal but competes for Cape Verde where she was born. According to her Olympic profile, she considers her husband-to-be, who guides the athlete during races with a piece of rope tied around their wrists, one of her influences.

The sweet moment prompted congratulatory messages from viewers in Tokyo and on social media, with the official Paralympic Games Twitter account writing: “May the two of them run together for life!”

This wasn’t the only engagement to happen in Tokyo this year, as María Belén Pérez Maurice, a fencer from Argentina, accepted a proposal from her coach, who held up a sign asking her to marry him during a post-match interview.

After placing fourth in the heat, Semedo will not proceed to the final, which will take place on Saturday on the penultimate day of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.

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