JAKARTA – Carolina Marin, who is steamrolling through the badminton Indonesia Masters and will play the semifinals on Saturday, says “I am here and that I am better than ever.”
The Spaniard has quickly become one of the most cherished players in Indonesia where badminton enjoys massive popularity and is stopped regularly for autographs and words of encouragement.
Marin told Efe the competition in Jakarta had allowed her to put the serious injuries she suffered last year behind her.
After imposing herself over young South Korean An Se-young in the quarterfinals Marin said Istora Senayan sports complex in Jakarta:
“It is true that the first game, the first day, relives the feeling of the situation that happened a year ago, I have learned a lot from that, but I have no fear, it is good to overcome myself again.”
The 26-year-old added that the anterior cruciate ligament injury she suffered on her knee last year in the Indonesian capital and that forced her to retire provisionally for eight months “is completely forgotten.”
The player returned on form to the Vietnam Open last September.
So far the Spanish player has not given up a single set in the Indonesian tournament despite facing difficult rivals like world number 4 Nozomi Okuhara from Japan and South Korean An Se-young, ranked number 9 in the world and to whom she lost at the French Open in October.
“I didn’t want to think that I had lost the last game against her (Se-young).
“Today was a new game. She is a young girl, very talented, she will be very good. She is complicated and I had to have all my concentration on the strategy that I have prepared with my coach,” said Marin, current number 10 in the world rankings.
The Olympic, world and European badminton champion added that during the French Open she experienced discomfort in her glutes and should have retired from the competition.
“There are times that you force your body too much and that can cause you a serious injury.
After overcoming the challenge of recovering in time to compete in the Tokyo Olympics this year, the Spaniard is returning to the game to focus on her main goal since she won gold at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics: to be the best player in history.
Marin is the only player who has won three world titles and if she secures a gold medal this at the Tokyo Olympics it would be a milestone that would set her apart from other legendary women’s badminton players.
“There are only 7 months left for the Olympic Games but my preparation is indeed very good, I am feeling very well,” she said.
The player is certainly proving her good physical form and mental strength on the court.
“That determination with which I have been training during the injury and with which I go out to matches is very important, especially when it comes to body language to show rivals that I am here and that I am better than ever,” she said.