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Badminton: Spain's Marin claims back-to-back titles in Bangkok

Badminton: Spain's Marin claims back-to-back titles in Bangkok

Spain's Carolina Marin won Olympic gold in 2016. (Photo: AFP/Mohd Rasfan)

BANGKOK: Reigning Olympic badminton champion Carolina Marin on Sunday (Jan 24) claimed her second Thailand Open title in a fortnight against the same opponent - women's singles top seed Tai Tzu-ying.

Thailand is hosting three consecutive badminton tournaments in a bio-secure COVID-19 bubble, without spectators.

Former world champion Marin, 27, went into Sunday's final without losing a single game across the two tournaments.

In a much tighter contest than the first final last week, the Spaniard claimed the first game 21-19.

The Taiwanese 26-year-old appeared to lose her confidence early in the second set, as a dangerous Marin asserted her dominance.

Tai saved four match points, but her comeback was too little too late as Marin sealed her victory 21-17.

The first non-Asian women's player to win an Olympic badminton gold, Marin has faced an uphill battle to recover from a January 2019 knee injury in time to defend her crown in Tokyo.

The men's final will see two Danes face off - fourth seed Viktor Axelsen and Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus.

Solberg Vittinghus, ranked 42nd, made the tournament from a reserves list and had to cancel a flight home because he had not anticipated a finals berth.

The women's doubles was an all Korean affair with sixth-ranked Kim So-yeong and Kong Hee-yong too strong against fourth-ranked Lee So-hee and Shin Seung-chan 21-18, 21-19.

In the men's doubles, seventh-ranked Lee Yang and Wang Chi-Lin of Taiwan also made it back-to-back titles in 36 minutes against Malaysia's ninth-ranked Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik 21-13, 21-18.

In the mixed doubles, Thailand's third seeds Sapsiree Taerattanachai and Dechapol Puavaranukroh will play sixth-ranked Koreans Seo Seung-ae and Chae Yujung.

Four people involved in the tournaments, including two players, have tested positive for the coronavirus during the past fortnight of competition.

The finale - the Badminton World Federation World Tour Finals - kicks off on Wednesday at the Impact Arena and will be contested by the top eight of each discipline.

Chinese and Japanese athletes have not participated in the Bangkok tournaments.

Source: AFP/kg

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