The Journal Gazette
Saturday, September 04, 2021 1:00 am

Paralympic race ends with gold metal

EDITORIAL BOARD | The Journal Gazette

Keula Nidreia Pereira Semedo's race didn't end with a medal, but she finished with something to treasure for a lifetime.

The sprinter completed a 200-meter qualifying heat on Wednesday at the Tokyo Paralympic Games, coming in fourth. Afterward, the runner from Cape Verde – a country made up of islands off the coast of Senegal, in West Africa – received a track-side proposal from running partner Manuel Antonio Vaz da Veiga.

Some visually impaired runners race with sighted guides, who are connected to their athletes by bands around their wrists.

Video of the moment shows Vaz da Veiga getting down on one knee as six other athletes stand nearby with their arms around one another. A ring is slipped on Pereira Semedo's finger, and the two embrace.

Pereira Semedo lists her husband-to-be as an influence on her official Paralympics profile.

“May the two of them run together for life!” the Paralympic Games tweeted later.

The Tokyo games began Aug. 24 and will end Sunday, with some hardware for Fort Wayne-trained athletes.

The women's goalball team earned a silver medal Friday, falling to Turkey in the gold-medal game.

The men's goalball team lost Friday to Lithuania in the bronze-medal match.  

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