New Delhi: Carolina Marin is not bothered about the fact that not many people recognise the world No. 1 when she walks down a street back in Spain.
Instead, Marin is delighted that more and more children are taking up badminton in the football-crazy nation ever since she won the singles gold medal at the Rio Olympics.
"Not many people recognise me in Spain, but what I really like is a lot of people are taking up the sport in my country," said Marin, on Tuesday. "I can see many children playing badminton with their parents in the parks. I want to show Spain that apart from football, there are other disciplines, too. Now, a lot of people follow the sport and come to watch me play... it gives great satisfaction," she said.
Football remains the most popular sport in Spain, who won the World Cup in 2010 and the Euro twice. Spain also have a rich tradition of tennis and have produced some of world's best players - clay court specialist Rafael Nadal being the latest example. A dazzling left-hander, Marin has bagged every major title so far, including the world championship and the All-England crown. She was in awesome form during the Rio Olympics and defeated India's PV Sindhu in the women's singles final. She became the first non-Asian player to win the Olympic gold in women's singles.
Marin said she considered Saina Nehwal and Sindhu as great rivals. "Saina and Sindhu are great rivals. Their style of play is different, but to play against them is always tough," she said.I want to repeat my feat at the World Championships, in the All-England and I want to win many more super-series titles.
"There is not much difference between the top players at the moment. We can beat each other on a given day. Since I am more successful, everyone wants to beat me. So, I have to work hard hold on to my position," said the Spanish star.
Chennai are placed third with 14 points and still have a chance to end second at the end of the league stage.
The Adock couple trounced their counterpart Chirag Shetty and Nadiezda Zieba of Mumbai 9-11, 11-2, 11-7 and then Tommy Sugioarto defeated Ajay Jayaram 8-11, 11-2, 11-5.