Carolina Marin makes history with third World Championships title

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Carolina Marin of Spain (second left) defeats India's PV Sindhu (left) 21-19, 21-10 for her third world title. (photo: AFP)
Carolina Marin of Spain (second left) defeats India's PV Sindhu (left) 21-19, 21-10 for her third world title. (photo: AFP)

Nanjing: The Rio Olympic gold medalist Carolina Marin of Spain has entered uncharted waters with a historic third World Championships triumph on Sunday.

In a rematch of the Rio Olympic final, the 2014, 2015 World winner defeated India’s PV Sindhu 21-19, 21-10 for the 2018 world title.

Marin got off to a slow start, clawing back from 9-14, 11-15 in the first game before she upped her tempo to smash her way to win the first set.

The second set was largely one-sided, as the Spaniard continued to attack, racing to a 11-2, 17-4 lead before wrapping up the final in style. The victory put Marin in front of women’s singles badminton legends such as Li Lingwei, Han Aiping, Ye Zhaoying and Xie Xingfang whom have won two World Championship titles in their respective remarkable badminton careers.

Sindhu, on the other hand, won the runner-up for two consecutive years. China’s He Bingjiao and Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi were tied for third place.

In women’s doubles, No. 11 seeds Mayu Matsumoto/Wakana Nagahara dug themselves out of a 13-18 deficit in the decider, beat compatriot No. 2 seeds Yuki Fukushima/Sayaka Hirota for the first time in international competition, winning 19-21, 21-19, 22-20 for the World title. The new champs, both 22 years old, had never lead in the third set until they reached match point at 21-20.

Japan’s Mayu Matsumoto and Wakana Nagahara (right) won their first women’s doubles world title. (photo: AFP)
Japan’s Mayu Matsumoto and Wakana Nagahara (right) won their first women’s doubles world title. (photo: AFP)

“I just tried to go out and played my best,” said Nagahara.

“Fortunately, we were able to turn things around to win the trophy. This was our first World Championships competition, and the victory really brought tears to my eyes,” added Nagahara.

The title was also Japan’s first world championship triumph in women’s doubles in 41 years. Etsuko Toganoo and Emiko Ueno took gold in the 1977 worlds.

In an all-Chinese mixed doubles final, top seeds Zheng Siwei/Huang Yaqiong defeated second seeds Wang Yilyu/Huang Dongping 21-17, 21-19. It was Huang’s first world championships title, and Zheng’s second, after he won the 2018 Thomas Cup alongside the Chinese men’s team in May.

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