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19:11 1 January 2017

Table tennis stars Fukuhara, Chiang hold wedding ceremony in Taipei

TAIPEI, Jan. 1, Kyodo

Olympic table tennis players Ai Fukuhara of Japan and Chiang Hung-chieh of Taiwan held a wedding ceremony at a hotel in Taipei on Sunday.

The pair formally registered their marriage in both Taiwan and Japan in September, but, after months of preparation, they held their marriage ceremony on New Year's Day, after appearing before the media at a press conference.

Fukukara, a double Olympic medalist, wore a v-neck lavender evening gown, and thanked her fans for their support, which she said had brought her happiness.

Saying she was more nervous about her wedding than competitions, the 28-year-old did not tell reporters much about her future plans, only saying "wherever Hsiao-chieh is, I'll be there," speaking in Mandarin and referring to her husband by a nickname.

Fukuhara trained with the Chinese national team as a teenager and still has a Chinese coach.

One of her best friends, Chinese table tennis world champion Liu Shiwen, attended the ceremony to give her blessing. She said she knew Fukuhara from when she was aged nine or 10, and they have remained good friends.

Fukuhara thanked Liu for making the special trip from China, where she had just won a competition, and jokingly said that she and her husband will repay her kindness "10 times" more when she gets married.

Chiang, dressed in a high-collar checked suit, also thanked his fans and said he will repay their support with better performance.

Chiang, 27, will compete in the Czech Republic after the wedding, and said they have not decided where to have their family yet.

Another guest was Chiang's friend, Olympics taekwondo gold medalist Chu Mu-yen. Chu described Chiang as a "nice guy who is not only handsome but also polite."

Fukuhara and Chiang met when they were teenagers. Their romance blossomed in 2014 and they announced their marriage in September last year, first in Japan and then in Taiwan.

Right after the announcement, the formal preparations began, with Chiang continuing his training in Germany and competing in Europe, and Fukuhara taking a break from her busy schedule to be with Chiang.

The couple will hold another wedding ceremony in Japan next month.

==Kyodo

  • Table tennis stars Fukuhara, Chiang hold wedding ceremony in Taipei
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