Visually Impaired Runner Surprised with Proposal at Tokyo Paralympics

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After a women's 200m T11 qualifying heat, guide Manuel Antonio Vaz da Veiga of Cape Verde proposed to the athlete that he partners, Keula Nidreia Pereira Semedo
After a women's 200m T11 qualifying heat, guide Manuel Antonio Vaz da Veiga of Cape Verde proposed to the athlete that he partners, Keula Nidreia Pereira Semedo

NBC Sports/Youtube

Partners on and off the track!

On Wednesday, Keula Nidreia Pereira Semedo, a visually impaired Paralympic runner from Cape Verde, competed in the women's 200m qualifying heat at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Paralympic Games. Though the 32-year-old ended the race with a fourth-place finish, she's hardly leaving empty-handed.

Semedo competed in the heat alongside her guide and partner Manuel Antonio Vaz da Vega, CNN reported. Moments after the pair crossed the finish line, Vaz da Vega took her by the hand, got down on one knee and proposed with an engagement ring in the middle of the track.

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After a women's 200m T11 qualifying heat, guide Manuel Antonio Vaz da Veiga of Cape Verde proposed to the athlete that he partners, Keula Nidreia Pereira Semedo
After a women's 200m T11 qualifying heat, guide Manuel Antonio Vaz da Veiga of Cape Verde proposed to the athlete that he partners, Keula Nidreia Pereira Semedo

NBC Sports/Youtube

A beaming Semedo said yes as the moment was caught on camera, and her fellow competitors gathered around to congratulate the happy couple.

Speaking with reporters, Semedo said that the surprise felt surreal.

"I really have no words. There are so many emotions all together. Just the fact of being here at the Paralympic Games, I hardly felt my legs actually because I was so nervous," she said. "Now, with the proposal, there are just too many emotions going on right now. I don't have words to explain how I feel at this moment.

After a women's 200m T11 qualifying heat, guide Manuel Antonio Vaz da Veiga of Cape Verde proposed to the athlete that he partners, Keula Nidreia Pereira Semedo
After a women's 200m T11 qualifying heat, guide Manuel Antonio Vaz da Veiga of Cape Verde proposed to the athlete that he partners, Keula Nidreia Pereira Semedo

NBC Sports/Youtube

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"I always had the dream of getting married but we hadn't planned anything so far. We haven't spoken about it and I wasn't expecting it at all," the athlete added.

Semedo lives and trains in Lisbon, Portugal and has cited Vaz da Vega as her biggest influence, according to her Olympic profile. She made her national debut for Cape Verde in 2005, and was awarded the Medal of Sports Merit by the government of Cape Verde in 2012.

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