Rio de Janeiro: Spain’s Carolina Marin screeched her way to Olympic gold Friday, defeating PV Sindhu in three games to become the first non-Asian winner of the women’s singles badminton title.
“I’m a little Spaniard that broke the Asian world. My dream has come true,” the 23-year-old world number one told reporters after grabbing a rare medal for a European country in the sport.
Marin, who celebrated almost every victorious point by shrieking at the top of her voice, lost the first game 21-19 but grabbed the second 21-12 before clinching gold with a 21-15 win in the decider.
Marin had to be told off by the umpire on several occasions during the match because of the level of her screeching while the two also engaged in in several discussions about changing shuttles.
Marin claimed it was part of her strategy to keep the shuttles new and quick while Sindhu wanted to stick with older ones as the two engaged in mind games.
“She didn’t want to change the shuttle because she wanted me to lose focus,” the left-hander said of her opponent.
“It was a little bit slow and sometimes you have to control everything on court,” she added.
The third and final game was locked at 10-10 before Marin went 14-10 ahead.
It was a gap that Sindhu could not bridge as the Spaniard went to 20-15 before finishing off her Indian counterpart in an engrossing encounter.
The Sindhu’s hard-fought silver was India’s second medal of the Rio Olympics after female wrestler Sakshi Malik claimed bronze on Wednesday.
The 21-year-old played down the effects of her opponents’ on-court vocal exercises.
“I was really prepared for everything because I knew it would happen. It’ll happen every time. It’s always there. I didn’t get really annoyed. It’s all part of the game,” she said cheerily.
Sindhu became the first Indian to win a silver medal in badminton at the Olympics, going one better than Saina Nehwal, who won bronze at London 2012.
“It was Carolina’s day today and that’s it. I never thought I would make it to the final. Overall it was a very good match and I’m on cloud nine right now,” she added.