Two Slovakian race walkers get engaged at the finish line

I’d walk a long way for love! Two Slovakian race walkers get engaged at the finish line in sweet moment after competing in 35km event at the Budapest World Championships

  • Hana Burzalova finished the 35km race walk to find Dominik Cerny on one knee
  • Cerny had himself just competed over an identical distance in the men’s event
  • She said ‘yes’ to his proposal and the pair celebrated with a kiss on the finish line 

Love was very much in the air at the World Athletics Championships as two Slovakian race walkers got engaged at the finish line.

Hana Burzalova was just crossing the finish line at the end of Thursday’s 35km race walk in Budapest when she spotted her boyfriend Dominik Cerny – who’d just completed the same distance in the men’s event – down on one knee.

Fortunately, Burzalova had enough breath left after her exertions in the race to say ‘yes’ to her partner’s proposal, with Cerny celebrating by punching the air.

Burzalova happily showed off her shiny engagement ring to the cameras after the sweet moment.

Cerny, 25, placed 19th in his race, recording a personal best time of 2:32.56 in the process. His new fiancee, 22, finished 28th in the women’s race but did clock a season’s best of 3:02.47, meaning there was plenty to celebrate.

Slovakian race walkers Dominik Cerny and Hana Burzalova got engaged after they competed in their respective 35km race walk events at the World Championships in Budapest

Burzalova said ‘yes’ to Cerny’s proposal at the finish line and they celebrated with a kiss

The newly-engaged couple pose for the cameras with Burzalova showing off her ring 

The couple were all smiles after their engagement, straight after they’d completed 35km 

The couple regularly share pictures of their life together on their Instagram accounts, including cycle trips into the mountains and beach holidays in Cyprus.

On the eve of the race, Cerny posted an Instagram Stories picture of Burzalova preparing her drinks ahead of Thursday’s race, captioning it ‘Ouch, here we go again.’

Race walking, also an Olympic sport, requires the athletes to keep one foot in contact with the ground at all times as they cover large distances, something assessed by judges throughout the race. 

Penalties are handed out if the judges detect a ‘loss of contact’ when both feet come off the ground. 

In addition, the knee of the advanced leg must not bend and the leg must straighten as the body passes over it. Again, bent knees can incur penalties. 

Thankfully, Cerny’s bent knee led to a happy outcome in this instance. 

Race distances at the World Championships used to be up to 50km but this was cut to 35km last year, with a 20km race also included. 

The couple pose on the beach during a holiday to Cyprus in an Instagram picture

The pair have been representing Slovakia in race walking for a number of years 

They offered an insight into the preparations required for a World Championship race

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