MADRID – Spanish reigning Olympic gold medalist and two-time reigning world champion Carolina Marin said in a press conference on Thursday that she was at her peak heading into next week’s Badminton World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland.
She said that her game was in even better shape than at last year’s Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, where she captured the title in women’s singles, and that she had added some new wrinkles to her game that would surprise her main rivals.
“I’m very clear that I’m going for gold. If not, I wouldn’t have prepared for two months,” Marin said of her training in the northern Spanish city of San Sebastian for the World Championships, which gets under way on Aug. 21.
She gave no specifics about new aspects that would be on display in Glasgow, saying she had polished up some trouble areas that had led to her coming up short in most of her events this season.
The 24-year-old Marin, a former world No. 1, has seen her ranking drop to No. 4 this year and has only one title to her credit – April’s European Badminton Championships, a tournament in which none of her main Asian rivals participated.
But she has been unbeatable in recent years on the biggest stages, having won gold at the 2014 World Championships in Copenhagen, the 2015 World Championships in Jakarta and the 2016 Olympics.
“There’s always a new Carolina for the big competitions, because ... my opponents study me closely and know everything about me, down to the smallest detail. And that’s why we always have to surprise (them),” Marin said.
Her coach, Fernando Rivas, confirmed at the same press conference in Madrid that Marin was in optimal form ahead of the biggest event on the 2017 badminton calendar.
“Yes, of course I see her better now than at the Olympics, much better. What remains to be seen is if the others are much better than what they were, because it’s about being better than the rest not being better than at the Olympics,” Rivas said.
One rival Marin, Japanese world No. 2 Akane Yamaguchi, South Korean world No. 3 Sung Ji-hyun and the other top women’s singles players will not need to worry about in Glasgow is Taiwanese world No. 1 Tai Tzu-ying, who has chosen instead to compete at the World University Games in Taipei.