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Long Jumper Proposes to Sepak Takraw Partner After Winning Gold at SEA Games

In a rare moment of levity, a SEA Games proposal tied everything up in a neat bow after a medal-packed day for Vietnam.

On May 15, the second day of track and field events at the ongoing 2021 SEA Games, Vietnam was particularly victorious, raking in five gold medals. In the evening, Hải Dương-born Nguyễn Tiến Trọng clinched the country’s last gold of the day in men’s long jump with a mark of 7.8 meters. The figure wasn’t Trọng’s best either, as he currently holds the national record at 7.98 meters.

Following the award ceremony, Trọng did the unexpected: he walked right up to his girlfriend, Nguyễn Thị Phương Trinh, in the audience, dropped down on one knee, and pulled out a ring. She said yes to the proposal, fortunately, and the couple shared an embrace. The moment was captured by sports media and quickly went viral on the local cybersphere.

The proposal captured by a fancam.

Trinh is also competing for Vietnam as part of the national sepak takraw women’s team. After three days of the tournament, the team has won against Malaysia and Laos, but lost to Thailand, winning a silver medal for Vietnam.

According to Trọng’s teammates, he had been planning the proposal for a long time. He set a goal to get gold at the SEA Games and propose to Trinh right after the award ceremony. Luckily, the long jumper succeeded, and their future children — should they decide to have them — will beat every other kid in đá cầu and nhảy dây.

Nguyễn Thị Phương Trinh (left) during a sepak takraw match of SEA Games. Photo by Minh Tân via Thanh Niên.

At 1.93 meters, Trọng is one of the tallest athletes on the national team. Tuổi Trẻ reports that, to support their son and nephew, his family rented a bus to ferry the entire 20-member "clan" from Hải Dương Province to Hanoi. Trọng’s parents are farmers and initially did not support his aspirations in sports, fearing that being a professional athlete on the national roster might be too arduous for young Trọng.

Nguyễn Tiến Trọng's gold medal-worthy jump. Photo by Minh Ngọc via VTC News.

According to Nguyễn Thị Đoàn, Trọng’s mother, when he was 13 years old, he often left home to train for track and field, and eventually joined the military’s sports team.

“When he joined sports professionally, we thought that he wouldn’t be able to find a wife because no one would want a spouse who can’t support the household,” she said in Vietnamese. “But he was so passionate, so every family member supported him so he could contribute to Vietnam’s national sports. Today, he got a gold medal, and we are overjoyed.”

[Top photo via Kinh Tế Đô Thị]

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