Carolina Marin & Chen Yufei Are Top Olympic Gold Favorites, With Tai Tzu-Ying, An Se-young, And Akane Yamaguchi Deal With Injuries

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Carolina Marin (R) and Chen Yufei stand as the healthiest among the world's top five women's singles players. (Photo: AFP)
Carolina Marin (R) and Chen Yufei stand as the healthiest among the world's top five women's singles players. (Photo: AFP)

Kuala Lumpur: The China women’s team showed its dominance in the women’s badminton by winning an unprecedented 16th Uber Cup title by beating Indonesia 3-0 on May 5, 2024.

Luo Yigang, the women’s singles coach for the China team, not only praised the performance of his players but also emphasized that health will be the key to competing for gold in the Paris Olympics.

Regarding the performance of China’s women’s singles players at the Uber Cup finals, Luo Yigang said, “In this competition, all our players have performed as expected. No matter who the opponents are, we have never underestimated them. Every game was treated as a new challenge because every point is crucial in team competitions. Therefore, from the group stage to the final, every player has given their all.”

Speaking about the prospects for the Paris Olympics, Luo Yigang exclaimed, “As for the Paris Olympics, I think the biggest enemy for all athletes should be injuries. Some top players missed out on this competition due to injuries, but I believe they will all recover in time for the Paris Olympics, and continue to strive for the gold medal in the best possible condition.”

Although current women’s singles World No. 1 An Se Young, World No. 4 Akane Yamaguchi, and World No. 5 Tai Tzu-Ying all competed in the 2024 Uber Cup Finals, they all have some sort of injury, and due to concerns about their conditions, they only played in few matches and then rested, ultimately leading the elimination of their teams respectively. Currently, among the “Women’s Singles Big Four,” only Chen Yufei is relatively healthy.

Of course, we cannot overlook Spain’s World No. 3 Carolina Marin, who won the Rio Olympic gold medal and has also won three World Championships titles. After experiencing two major injuries, she made a strong comeback and sealed her epic seventh consecutive victory at the 2024 European Badminton Championships, becoming a top contender for the gold medal in women’s singles badminton at the Paris Olympics.

Although Marin experienced an early exit at the 2024 French Open, losing to Beiwen Zhang in the opening round. However, she rebounded to win the prestigious 2024 All England Open Super 1000. In the following week, Marin extended her winning streak by clinching her second title of the year, the Swiss Open Super 300 title.

In recognition of Marin’s remarkable achievements in the badminton world, she was awarded a prestigious award in Spain and received high praise with the “Prince of Asturias Award” in Sports. Previous recipients of the “Prince of Asturias Awards” include Steffi Graf (Tennis), Michael Schumacher (Formula One Racing), Rafael Nadal (Tennis), Pau Gasol and Marc Gasol (NBA).

“Winning this award is truly a dream come true,” Marin said in an interview, expressing that she was overwhelmed with excitement upon hearing the news of the award because it holds great significance for athletes. She also expressed deep gratitude to her mother and expressed her desire to dedicate the award to her family.

The award ceremony for the “Prince of Asturias Award” will be held on October 25th. Marin hoped to receive the award with the Paris Olympic gold medal already hanging around her neck.

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