World No. 1 Carolina Marin pulls out of Syed Modi GPG
The USD120,000 Syed Modi International Badminton Championships to be held at Lucknow from January 26, 2016, has lost one of its biggest stars – the World No. 1 Carolina Marin. The Spaniard, who was the runner-up to Saina Nehwal in 2015, pulled out of the Grand Prix Gold tournament on December 28. The reason for her withdrawal is yet to be known.
It is believed that the top-ranked player will opt for a longer training period and cut down on her tournaments in 2016 in order to be in peak fitness by the time the Rio Olympics arrives. She had a hectic 2015 which turned out to be the most successful season of the 22-year-old’s career.
The southpaw reigned supreme at five Superseries tournaments that included her maiden All England Open crown, apart from her second title at the World Championships. The final event of 2015 did not go that well, though, for the Spaniard as she succumbed in the semi-finals of the Dubai World Superseries Finals to a lower-ranked Nozomi Okuhara.
The tired Marin subsequently also decided to give the upcoming Premier Badminton League a miss.
The Syed Modi International Badminton Championships is the second Grand Prix level event of the 2016 calendar. Despite Marin’s withdrawal, it still boasts of a competitive field headed by India’s very own Nehwal, who will be aiming for her fourth title at her home tournament.
The World Championships silver medallist will get tough challenge from the Korean duo of Ji Hyun Sung and Bae Yeon Ju, besides her compatriot PV Sindhu. The other top 20 stars vying for the title are Sayaka Sato, Yui Hashimoto, Busanan Ongbumrungphan and Kirsty Gilmour.