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Asian Games 2018

Asian Games: Hong Kong fencer only decides to propose after winning bronze; teammate cries after messing up the music

The 31-year-old gets down on his knees at the Jakarta Convention Centre in front of media and fans and Nicole says ‘yes’

PUBLISHED : Friday, 24 August, 2018, 9:52am
UPDATED : Friday, 24 August, 2018, 10:54pm

He may have won bronze on the piste but there was gold in love for Hong Kong fencer Antonio Lam Hin-chung when he got down on bended knee and proposed to his girlfriend, Nicole, in front of delighted media, officials and fans in Jakarta.

Asian Games volunteers hurriedly helped the 31-year-old Lam collect 99 roses that they made into a bouquet and as soon as the medal ceremony for the men’s team sabre competition ended, Lam proposed to Nicole – who had flown to Jakarta to watch her boyfriend of eight years compete.

Of course, she said “yes” and Lam is now looking forward to the next phase in his life.

“I am now double happy,” said Lam, who is expected to retire from competing and take up coaching. “There are many coaches in fencing but there are also many high-level athletes and I want to stay in the sport and help develop more fencers in Hong Kong.

“It was amazing last night, with all my teammates, my sister, fencing friends and volunteers. No one, not even myself, knew I was going to do it. Only after the winning the medal I decided to propose.”

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Nicole said she knew she would be marrying a man who is dedicated to his sport and respects whatever decision he makes.

“I know he can’t be separated from fencing and I know he wants to teach future fencers so I will support him.”

While there may have been tears of joy for the couple and possibly those watching, there were tears of another kind from Lam’s teammate Terence Lee Chak-fung, who was supposed to cue the love song A Little Happiness (“Little Lucky”) by Taiwanese singer Hebe Tian to create an appropriate atmosphere at the Jakarta Convention Centre.

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Apparently, Lee was a bit hasty and started the music early, spoiling the moment. He found it difficult to forgive himself and burst into tears as the couple posed for pictures.

Chinese media showed Lam and Nicole sharing a kiss with Lee inconsolable just behind them clutching his Asian Games stuffed mascot.

“I really messed it up because I put the music on too early. I had one thing to do and couldn’t do that properly,” Lee was quoted as saying.

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Lam started fencing in 2000 after being encouraged by his father. At the 2014 Incheon Games, he became the first Hong Kong fencer to win a medal in the men’s individual sabre when he took bronze.

His sister, Lam Hin-wai, also represented Hong Kong in Incheon, winning a bronze in the women’s team sabre competition. She is part of the 2018 Asian Games team as well.

Lam is a Hong Kong Sports Institute athlete and also manages a fencing hall.