HUELVA – Spain’s Carolina Marin said on Wednesday it was a dream come true for the European Badminton Championships to be held this year in her hometown of Huelva and in the pavilion that bears her name.
The 24-year-old Marin, already one of the greatest women’s singles players of all time with an Olympic gold medal and two World Championships titles to her credit, said this April’s edition of the European Championships, an event she has won three times, would be one of the most important moments of her career.
The current world No. 5 said at the tournament’s launch ceremony that when she left Huelva for Madrid more than a decade ago “filled with hopes and dreams to fulfill, she never could have imagined” playing in a big tournament in front of her fellow “Onubenses,” family and friends.
“The goal is obviously to win” once again, Marin said of an event devoid of all her main rivals, who will be competing that same week in the Badminton Asia Championships, though adding that she would also focus on “enjoying every second” of the experience.
Marin defeated Scotland’s Kirsty Gilmour, currently the world No. 15, in the finals of both the 2016 and 2017 European Championships, but she said her 36th-ranked countrywoman Beatriz Corrales also had a chance of reaching the last round.
“Why not? It would be nice for there to be an all-Spanish final in Spain, but we’ll see how the draw and the match-ups shape up,” Marin said.
The Spaniard, who will be competing in next week’s European Men’s and Women’s Team Championships in Kazan, Russia, said that in the short term she was focused on the All England Open (March 14-18), the European Championships (April 24-29) and the World Championships, which will be held from July 30 to Aug. 5 in Nanjing, China.
That latter event will attract all of the world’s best players and is the biggest tournament on the 2018 badminton calendar.