GLASGOW, Scotland – Spain’s Carolina Marin powered her way into the quarterfinals of the Badminton World Championships with a 21-7, 21-11 victory on Thursday over Denmark’s Mia Blichfeldt.
Like in her straight-game victory Wednesday over Hong Kong’s Yip Pui Yin, Marin dominated her third-round match against her unheralded 20-year-old opponent from start-to-finish to stay on track for an unprecedented third straight women’s singles world title.
“I’m happy about today’s victory. It was important because I’d never played against Mia Blichfeldt. We’d prepared very well to go out and give our all, and that’s what we did,” the 2014 and 2015 world champion and 2016 Olympic gold medalist told EFE.
The third-seeded Marin will square off against a more accomplished rival in Friday’s quarterfinals, Japanese former world No. 3 Nozomi Okuhara, who topped countrywoman Aya Ohori 22-20, 21-15 on Thursday and defeated the Spaniard in their previous match at the Australian Open in June.
The Spaniard, however, sounded confident about getting revenge at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow.
“Tomorrow will be a very tough match, but we’re eager for it because I’ve prepared with her game in mind and I’m looking forward to bringing out the best version of myself,” Marin said.
The fifth-ranked Spaniard is now the highest-seeded player left in the women’s singles after two upsets on Thursday.
Japanese top seed Akane Yamaguchi lost to China’s Chen Yufei 21-18, 21-19 and South Korean second seed Sung Ji-hyun was eliminated 21-19, 21-15 by India’s Saina Nehwal, who lost to Marin in the final of the 2015 World Championships in Jakarta.
In another upset Thursday, crowd favorite Kirsty Gilmour of Scotland stunned Chinese No. 6 seed He Bingjiao 21-14, 15-21, 21-16.
Taiwanese world No. 1 Tai Tzu-ying chose not to play in the World Championships, opting instead to compete at the World University Games in Taipei.
In men’s singles Thursday in Glasgow, the favorites for the gold medal all moved through to the quarterfinals.
Chinese two-time defending world champion Chen Long dominated India’s Ajay Jayaram 21-11, 21-10; 33-year-old Chinese great Lin Dan, a five-time world champion, rallied to defeat England’s Rajiv Ouseph 14-21, 21-17, 21-16; top-seeded South Korean Son Wan-ho defeated Thailand’s Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk 21-14, 17-21, 21-13; and Indian No. 8 seed Kidambi Srikanth topped Denmark’s Anders Antonsen 21-14, 21-18.