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Olympic fencing loss parried by love and marriage proposal

July 26, 2021 GMT
Maria Belen Perez Maurice of Argentina, left, and Anna Marton of Hungary compete in the women's individual round of 32 Sabre competition at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Monday, July 26, 2021, in Chiba, Japan. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
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Maria Belen Perez Maurice of Argentina, left, and Anna Marton of Hungary compete in the women's individual round of 32 Sabre competition at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Monday, July 26, 2021, in Chiba, Japan. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
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Maria Belen Perez Maurice of Argentina, left, and Anna Marton of Hungary compete in the women's individual round of 32 Sabre competition at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Monday, July 26, 2021, in Chiba, Japan. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

CHIBA, Japan (AP) — For Argentine fencer Maria Belen Perez Maurice, the sting of an Olympic defeat was quickly parried by a stroke of love.

Perez Maurice had just been beaten in the women’s saber when her long-time coach and partner Lucas Guillermo Saucedo turned the loss into a surprise marriage proposal.

While Perez Maurice was speaking to reporters, Saucedo held up a handwritten note asking “Do you want to marry me” in Spanish. She accepted.

“They (the press) told me to turn around and he had the letter. I forgot everything. I was like, ‘Oh my God,’” she said. “We are very happy. We are very good partners. Of course, we have fights, but we enjoy each other’s time. We love each other so much, and we want to spend our lives together. We are going to celebrate in Buenos Aires with a big barbecue.”

Saucedo said he might have waited to pop the question had Perez Maurice beaten Anna Marton of Hungary. Instead, he felt the time was right.

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“I love her, and when she lost the match she got very sad, so maybe this proposal should change her mentality,” he said. “I wrote on the paper in the moment. If she had won, no, I would have waited for the moment.”

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