A First for Spain: Carolina Marin Takes Home the 2014 BWF World Championships Title

On August 31st, 2014 European champion Carolina Marin (NANORAY Z-SPEED, SHBF1NLTD) made history, becoming the first Spanish badminton player to win the BWF World Championships. She defeated world No. 1 Li Xuerui in a thrilling three-set match, 17-21 21-17 21-18. This marks the first time a European has won a singles title in the World Championships since Camilla Martin won the women’s singles title in 1999. In men’s singles, Lee Chong Wei (VOLTRIC Z-FORCE II LCW, SHB01LTD) earned the silver medal.

21-year-old Carolina won the 2009 European U17 Badminton Championships, going on to become the European Junior Champion in 2011. After turning pro, she became the first Spanish winner of the European Championships in April of 2014.

Adding to her growing list of firsts, it was also Carolina’s first time defeating Li Xuerui. They have met three times in the past, with Xuerui winning in every encounter. However upon the grand stage of the World Championships, Carolina’s performance proved to be a true spectacle. Xuerui opened the first game with vigorous smashes, leading by 0-5 with Carolina unable to keep pace against her opponent. After losing the first game by 21-17, Carolina came back with tenacity in the second set, keeping Xuerui in the back of the court with deep lobs. Xuerui’s errors began to accumulate as her attacks grew hasty and careless. Carolina was led by 8-13, but her accurate hairpin net shots and tenacious plays got her caught up at 15-all. Her fast attacks proved troublesome for Xuerui, and Carolina took the second game with 21-17. The deciding set was  ruthless as persistent attacks came from both sides. While both players committed errors due to hurried plays, Carolina overwhelmed Xuerui’s attacks to lead 17-15 from 13-15 behind. Carolina maintained her aggressive performance, with Xuerui starting to look tired. The match closed with Xuerui sending the shuttle into the net at the Championship point, with Carolina exuberant at having won the huge title.

To add to her achievements, on her way to the final,Carolina defeated Superseries-winner Tai Tzu Ying, 2011 world champion and former world no. 1 Wang Yihan, and last year’s bronze medallist Sindhu P.V.

Other female medallists included Minatsu Mitani (ARCSABER 9FL), who became the first Japanese shuttler in the women’s singles to win the bronze medal since Hiroe Yuki in 1977.

In the men’s singles, Chong Wei displayed great performance, making it to the final without losing a single set across all his matches. 20-year-old Danish Viktor Axelsen (ARCSABER 11, SHB-87EX) and Tommy Sugiarto (ARCSABER 11, SHB-87EX) won the bronze medals.

Men’s doubles pair Mathias Boe SHBSC6iEX)/Carsten Mogensen (SHB87LTD),women’s doubles pair Reika Kakiiwa (VOLTRIC 80/VOLTRIC Z-FORCE II)/Miyuki Maeda (VOLTRIC 70 E-tune) and mixed doubles player Christinna Pedersen (NANORAY 800SHB-01LX) all won bronze medals in their respective events.