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Cycling ace proposes at Commonwealth Games

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - JULY 27:  Cyclist Chris Pritchard of Scotland proposes to his partner during competition at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome during day four of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games on July 27, 2014 in Glasgow, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - JULY 27: Cyclist Chris Pritchard of Scotland proposes to his partner during competition at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome during day four of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games on July 27, 2014 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Love was in the air for a Sheffield-born athlete when the cycling competition at the Commonwealth Games took a romantic turn.

Cyclist Chris Pritchard had not had much luck on the track - finishing third in a seventh-place ride-off in the keirin in Glasgow.

But he got the biggest prize of all when he proposed to his long-term partner in front of thousands of people in the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome.

After losing the race Chris, from Ridgeway, near Sheffield, but whose mother is Scottish, leapt from his bike and clambered into the stands where his girlfriend was sitting.

Amanda Ball had been sitting in the crowd with the couple’s young son, Milo, watching the race.

And still in his Scottish race kit, he got down on one knee to ask Amanda to become his wife.

Cheers filled the velodrome as Pritchard punched the air in celebration when his partner said yes.

And it was lucky she did, after Chris had finished only third in the race to decide who would be seventh place finisher in the men’s keirin.

The 31-year-old later admitted planning for the proposal had taken several months.

But, despite having the big question on his mind, he said it did not stop him focusing on the race.

“I have been plotting this for about five or six months. It has taken a lot of hard work,” he said.

“I thought, ‘She is going to say yes’, so I put it away then and just thought about what was going on in the keirin.

“It was a really good keirin, I really enjoyed it.”

Chris said he had not told anyone about what he got planned in case the secret got out, but hairdresser Amanda knew the proposal was coming at some point.

She said she had been nagging - and that the ring he slipped onto her finger was uncannily similar to one she had left a picture of on their computer screen.

The men’s keirin gold medal was eventually won by Australia’s Matthew Glaetzer.

Pritchard was not the only one in romantic mood on the Scottish team.

Para cycling star Aileen McGlynn, 41, got a ring to go with her silver medal after her partner Graeme Hinchliffe proposed. The crowd shed a few tears as Aileen, from Paisley in Scotland, said yes when Graeme kneeled in front of her.

 

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