Japanese table tennis Olympian Ai Fukuhara, who has captured millions of hearts in China and other parts of the world, is now officially married to her Taiwanese boyfriend and fellow Olympic player Chiang Hung-chieh.
Fukuhara has previously confirmed their wedding plans after the Rio de Janeiro Olympics to close friends and relatives, reported Japan Today. The 27-year old, who has always kept her relationship with Chiang known to the public, has vowed to continue playing table tennis after their marriage.
Widely adored internationally as Ai-chan, she rose to popularity as a child table tennis prodigy in Japan after learning to play the sport at three years old. At age 15, Ai Fukuhara made her Olympics debut at the 2004 Athens games before eventually joining every Olympic game that followed.
The fun-loving athlete, who also speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese, has gained a huge following in China after playing in the country’s top table tennis division Super League when she was a teenager. Fukuhara also has accumulated hundreds of thousands of fans on the Chinese social media platform Weibo.
Her Chinese followers online have been vocal about their support and love for her, with several netizens advising her to marry a Chinese man. Her announcement of marrying a Taiwanese man still made most of her fans delighted. Congratulatory messages from her fans in Taiwan and mainland China wishing the new couple happiness, flooded her social media account.