TOKYO: Moments after fencer Maria Belen Perez Maurice was knocked out of the Tokyo Olympics on Monday, her coach made a dramatic lunge of his own by flashing a handwritten sign that read "Will you marry me? Please".
It was the second attempt by the Argentine fencer's coach and partner of 17 years, Lucas Guillermo Saucedo, after his 2010 proposal was rebuffed.
This time Perez Maurice said yes.
"I forget everything, you know," the world number 27 said, after a 15-12 loss to Hungary's Anna Marton at the Makuhari Messe Hall outside Tokyo ended her third Olympic run.
"I said yes, of course," she smiled.
Saucedo said he decided to propose again on Monday morning and asked an Olympic volunteer at the venue for a sheet of paper to write his proposal.
The volunteer first refused but agreed after Saucedo offered to trade him an Olympic pin for the paper.
The honeymoon will have to wait - the couple are unable to immediately leave the Olympic Village due to COVID-19 restrictions. They hope to celebrate back in their native Buenos Aires after flying home this week.
(Reporting by Sakura Murakami; Editing by Michael Perry, David Dolan and Ed Osmond)