Saturday March 23, 2013
Spain’s Marin happy to stand in for her idol
SURABAYA: For young Spanish shuttler Carolina Marin, Denmark’s Tine Baun has always been her idol.
Now the 19-year-old Huelva native, one of the most exciting young prospects in women’s singles to come out of Europe, is hoping to fill in the big shoes of Baun at the US$1mil Axiata Cup.
All-England champion Baun was expected to play the last two matches for Europe All Stars in the first leg of the tournament but she will not arrive in time.
Instead, Baun will only compete in the second leg and Marin will fill in for her in the first leg.
“Growing up, Tine was an idol to me, and to most aspiring women players in Europe,” said Marin. “She’s such a great player and an excellent example and I really want to have a career just like hers. For now, I’m just excited to take her place in the Axiata Cup.”
She certainly gave a good account of herself with a superb display against Singapore’s Xing Aiying on Thursday, winning 21-12, 21-12, although Europe All Stars went on to lose the tie 3-1.
Meanwhile, Marin, who attracted attention in the 2011 World Championship when she defeated Japan’s Eriko Hirose as a virtual unknown, has set her sights on becoming the best player in Europe.
The left-hander is already well on her way there, currently ranked No. 32 in the world.
She has also claimed victories over Baun, world No. 4 Juliane Schenk of Germany and pushed world No. 6 Wang Shixian of China to three close games in the recent All-England.
With 33-year-old Baun retired from competitive tournaments after her All-England success and Schenk also on the wrong side of 30, Marin certainly has what it takes to raise the profile of the sport in Europe.
“My target is definitely to become the best player in Europe and I’m hoping to win an Olympic gold medal one day,” said Marin.
“I think my career really started after the world meet two years back and I’m sure it will only get better.
“It has not progressed as fast because I’m still in high school, but I’ll be back on track once I graduate in June.
“The only pity is that I’ll miss the Thailand Open because of the graduation but there’s the World Championship to look forward once more,” added Marin, who plans to further her studies in university.