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Argentine fencer María Belén Pérez Maurice missed her chance to win a medal at the Tokyo Olympics on Monday.
After their match, her boyfriend had a surprise.
The 36-year-old fencer will leave the Olympics with a ring, after accepting a surprise marriage proposal from her coach and partner.
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Pérez Maurice was in the middle of his post-match interview, following her 15-12 loss to Hungarian Anna Marton in the women's singles saber, when Lucas Guillermo Saucedo proposed with a large handwritten note that read "Do you want to marry me? ".
In the images that were shared on the Internet, she is seen as she turns around, sees the message and screams before quickly accepting the marriage proposal of her partner of 17 years, who got down on her knees.
The couple hugged and shared a kiss.
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"They (the press) told me to turn around, and he had the letter. I forgot everything. I was like 'oh my God,'" Pérez Maurice told reporters.
"We are very happy. We are very good partners. Of course, we have fights, but we enjoy each other. We love each other very much and we want to spend our lives together."
María Belén Pérez Maurice hugs her coach and partner, Lucas Guillermo Saucedo, after he proposed to her on the sidelines of the Olympic fencing competition in Chiba, Japan, on July 26, 2021.
Pérez Maurice - who won gold at the 2014 Pan American Games and competed in London 2012 and Rio 2016 - said the couple intended to celebrate their engagement in "Buenos Aires with a great barbecue."
Saucedo revealed that she had previously asked for Pérez Maurice's hand in marriage in Paris after the 2010 World Fencing Championships, but she refused, saying at the time: "I am young."
He added: "I love her, and when she lost the match (against Marton) she was very sad, so maybe this proposal should change her mentality. I wrote on the paper at the time. If she had won, no, I would have waited for the moment ".
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