Spanish shuttler Carolina Marin has issued a warning to her competitors ahead of the women’s singles event at the Olympics on Thursday.
Marin, who has won the last two World Championships, is making her second appearance at the Olympics, having endured disappointment at the 2012 Olympics in London where she failed to make it out of the group stages, beaten by eventual gold medalist Li Xuerui.
Heading to Rio, the 23-year-old tops the world rankings, and has more experience under her belt. So much so that Marin claims to have reached a new peak both physically and mentally.
“I am a new Carolina,” Marin said at a press conference in Rio de Janeiro. “I am mentally and physically better [and] in the best shape of my life.
“I have my objective clear. Every day I have woken up thinking about a medal and I lie in bed unable to sleep.”
With greatness beckoning, Marin has reminisced about going to the high performance centre in Madrid and told her coach Fernando Rivas about her dream of becoming a world champion and representing Spain at the Olympics.
“I told him that I want to be Olympic, world and European champion and number one in the world,” she said. “I think it’s really important to have clear what you want in the future and then just work.
“I am an only child and when I was 14 my parents decided to let me go to Madrid to play in the national centre. For them it was very, very hard to take that decision but I’m very grateful (they did).”
The top seed will begin her Olympic campaign against Nanna Vainio of Finland on Thursday.