By David Ramiro
Madrid, May 9 (EFE).- Badminton superstar Carolina Marín tells EFE in an interview that she is feeling positive this season and is at 80% of her capacity after recovering from two serious knee injuries in recent years.
The Spaniard, a three-time world champion, has an enviable track record that also includes six European championships and one Olympic gold medal in Rio de Janeiro 2016.
This season, which has already seen her win the Orleans Masters in April, her goal is the World Cup in Copenhagen in August.
Q: What is your assessment of the season so far?
A: So far I would give a positive assessment of the season in terms of how I am feeling. I have not had pain in my knee since December. I can withstand the volume of training perfectly and that allows me to build up good training sessions and compete well.
Q: What is your short-term plan?
A: At the end of May I have tournaments in Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia, and a week later the European Games. Then, in late August, the World Cup, which I am still not thinking about. I have many competitions before then and until July arrives we will not start with the more detailed preparation.
Q: The Paris Olympic Games are to take place in just over a year, are you thinking about them or is there still time?
A: There is little time left for the Paris Games but because I have so many tournaments on the world circuit, which is what I am focusing on, I don’t think about it much. I want to build up good training, compete at the highest level and climb the world ranking so I can get there.
Q: At what percentage of your performance are you currently?
A: Right now I would say that I am at 80% of my best level, but this is all very relative because then when the competition starts it may not go as well as expected.
Q: How do you cope with being the face of badminton?
A: I always demand more growth in badminton. It is indeed difficult for there to be another Carolina Marín but I would like there to be more Spaniards at the top. It is difficult for a girl like me from Huelva to play a lesser-known sport, but I do hope that in future more players will emerge.
Q: Do you feel pressure as the representative of Spanish badminton?
A: I feel very proud to have been able to put badminton on the map. When people recognize me, they know what I do, for me it is the greatest source of pride. On top of that, I have encouraged them to play it. Now I walk through parks and people greet me, something that was unthinkable years ago for a badminton player.
Q: In some Asian countries you are a star.
A: What I am witnessing in my own country is exciting because I had experienced it before when I was living abroad in Asian countries. I am very well known because badminton is like a national sport in Asian nations.
Q: As an ambassador for Banco Santander, you were able to enjoy the atmosphere at the Women’s Race in Madrid a few days ago with 32,000 participants. How did that make you feel?
A: I was thrilled to see so many women doing sports united by the same thing. I was there two years ago but seeing so many women doing sports again excites me. I felt like it was an endless race.
Q: Is women’s sport at its best?
A: In my opinion, it is difficult to say that we are at the best moment in women’s sports because either we have had better moments or we are going to have them. What is certain is that now women in the media are valued more. Before, they didn’t talk so much. Now even women’s soccer is on television. EFE