Badminton: Marin fends off brave Sindhu to win gold
By Ian Ransom
RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Carolina Marin overhauled a brave Pusarla Sindhu in the women's singles final on Friday to win Spain's first badminton title and crush India's hopes of a maiden gold medal at the Rio Olympics.
The top seed, known as the "Rafa Nadal" of badminton in Spain for her tenacity and fierce left-handed game, closed out a 19-21 21-12 21-15 victory over the 21-year-old Sindhu who was majestic in her Olympic debut.
"I'm very excited, I don't know how I'm feeling now but it is amazing that my dream has come true. I just had to believe in myself," Marin told reporters.
"It is more than a medal because of everything behind the medal. I have the best team behind me, they helped me a lot and were amazing."
Letting out a blood-curdling shriek with every winning point, the Spaniard was jeered by spectators at the Riocentro in a nerve-shredding deciding game as she pushed the bounds of good sportsmanship with constant stalling tactics.
But the ruthless 23-year-old got the job done, charging away to set up six match points and sealing it on the second with an imperious smash down the line that her opponent did well to get a racquet to.
Flag-waving Spanish fans jumped up and down as twice world champion Marin pumped her fists and bellowed in triumph, having survived a huge scare.
The flamenco-trained dancer from Andalucia beamed dry-eyed as she accepted the medal on the podium but wept freely as Spain's flag rose in the arena to the sound of the national anthem. Continued...