Copenhagen: Spain’s Carolina Marin pulled off a monumental upset as she beat Chinese world No. 1 Li Xuerui to win the women’s singles title at the Badminton World Championships, on Sunday.
The 21-year-old ninth seed recovered from dropping the opening game to the top seed and Olympic champion to complete an incredible 17-21, 21-17, 21-18 victory and earn her country its first ever major title in the sport.
In men’s final, China’s Chen Long edged out top seed Lee Chong Wei in a thrilling match, handing the Malaysian world No. 1 his third successive defeat in a world championship decider.
World No. 2 Chen, who had said before the final that Lee was not unbeatable, won 21-19, 21-19 to secure his first medal at the world championships.
Xuerui, meanwhile, had rarely looked in trouble during her run to the final and she again looked at ease with her terrific stroke play proving too much for the tenacious Marin in the opening game.
However, the Spaniard was undeterred and came out positively at the start of the second set as she established an early lead before Xuerui reeled her back in.
This time though Marin responded by taking the attack to her opponent for whom the nerves perhaps began to take hold as Xuerui began to misfire more regularly with Marin levelling the contest on the first of three set points.
The Chinese regrouped in the third game and inched 14-11 ahead but once more Marin came roaring back and moved to within a point of an improbable victory as Li fired long. Marin then fell to the court in delight on the subsequent point as Xuerui planted her shot into the net.
On Saturday, PV Sindhu suffered a heartbreak, as she had to settle for a second consecutive bronze medal. The Indian star succumbed to Marin in straight games in the semi-final.
Sindhu, seeded 11th, failed in her bid to become the first Indian women shuttler to reach the finals of the World Championship as her battle against the ninth seeded opponent ended in a 17-21, 15-21 loss. (Agencies)