# Olympic and world champion is now La Liga ambassdor

# ‘I fear no one but myself’ – Marin


By Rizal Abdullah

Reigning Olympic and world champion Carolina Marin has taken on added responsibilities to promote her country and has been appointed Spanish football league La Liga’s ambassador.

She is all more thrilled that the signing ceremony was held in Kuching – hours after she arrived in the city after a long trip from New Delhi where she competed in the Yonex Sunrise India Open.

Football is not her first love but being appointed the ambassador for La Liga means that she is recognized for what she has done for badminton in her native Spain.

A two-time world champion – in 2014 and  2015- is thrilled to bits with her new role as it will help promote the shuttle sport further although badminton is now played more people in Spain after Marin beat India’s P.V. Sindhu 19-21, 21-13, 21-15 for the gold medal in last year’s Rio Olympics.

Winning the Olympics gold was her target last year and it made up for the disappointment of not winning any superseries in 2016.

The 28-year-old Spaniard who is known for her “shrieks” on court is looking towards the Celcom Axiata Malaysia Open Superseries Premier after she failed to win the All-England last month and last week’s India Open.

“My target is the World Championships in Glasgow in August. And I am more than pleased with my overall performance. I fear no one…except myself. My biggest opponent is myself,” said Marin.

Marin won the gold in Rio Olympics with a 19-21, 21-19, 21-15 win over India’s P.V. Sindhu in the final.

However, Sindhu turned the tables on Marin last week with a 21-19, 21-16 win in the Yonex Sunrise India Open final.

And on Wednesday, Marin, seeded second in Kuching, cleared the first round in the Malaysian Open with a 21-16, 21-11 win over Hong Kong’s Yip Pui Yin in 37 minutes. In the second round Marin will face Thailand’s Nitchaon Jindapol who overcame Taiwan’s Chiang Mei Hui 21-15, 22-20.

“I am in good shape. My defeat in the India Open is forgotten. This is a new tournament and new challenge for me. The Malaysia Open has drawn the best women shuttlers who can win,” said Marin.

“I may have not won the All-England and the India Open but I am pleased with my overall performance and ready to throw in her challenge in the Malaysia Open – which she won in 2015.

Even before the Malaysia Open got started Marin was in “high spirits” after being appointed ambassador for Spanish football league La Liga and that ceremony took place in Kuching on Monday.

The La Liga is going on an aggressive promotion drive in this region to bring it on par with the much watched English Premier League.

“Of course I am proud to promote La Liga and my country. Badminton is growing in popularity in Spain and with me appointed as the ambassador it will work both ways,” said Marin.

“Football is the number one sport and most popular…but now people also know badminton after I won the Olympics gold.”

Marin opens her campaign in Kuching with a first round match against Hong Kong’s Yip Pui Yin.

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