Badminton

Carolina Marin opens up about tough times

The badminton Olympic champion talks about the last few challenging months, while international competition was suspended by the global pandemic

By ZK Goh ·

Spanish badminton star Carolina Marín says she is grateful for the support she has received from fans and fellow players on the BWF World Tour after a difficult period personally.

The Olympic champion, who has passed the time without international competition over the last few months with her family in Huelva in southern Spain, lost her father to illness in late July.

"It was really, really tough, it was really hard, and right now it's still hard," Marín said in a video released by the BWF.

"Thank you very much for all the love that you are giving," she added.

"Unbelievable"

Marín last competed at the All England Open in Birmingham in March, where she reached the semi-finals before losing to eventual champion and world number one Tai Tzu-ying.

However, that final weekend while Marín was in England, Spain's government declared a state of emergency, which meant the shuttler returned home to scenes which she had never encountered before.

"I arrived on Sunday afternoon and the next day on Monday, everyone was at home. When I travelled from Sevilla to Huelva, my hometown, nobody was on the road. When I was in my hometown, nobody was in the city," she recalled. 

"It was an unbelievable moment for me because I used to see people on the street."

However, the global health situation and its impact on the international badminton calendar was not at the forefront of Marín's concerns, with her father's health failing.

"I couldn't think so much about badminton because I had the personal situation, so my focus was on that," she said. "I couldn't think a lot about what was going on on the Tour or what will happen on the Tour when it restarts."

Return to competition

Currently, Marín spends her time playing for the Ibiza-based Pitiús club in the Spanish league while waiting for the return of international competition.

With the postponement of the Uber Cup Finals, the only tournaments remaining on this year's BWF World Tour calendar are the Denmark Open in Odense next month followed by two Asian events at a location yet to be announced, before the season-ending Finals.

Marín said the time away from court has made her miss being competitive and the high level of international competition.

"I am a very competitive person and this is what I really miss," she said. "And of course to see all the players, I really miss (them) a lot."

With the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games being postponed by a year, Marín is now able to concentrate on the tournament in 2021, something she says she could not have done while worrying about her father's health.

"I will be so ready for that because I really want to win one more gold medal at the Olympics."

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