LONDON GPG 2013 Finals – Marin wins first Grand Prix title!

Spain’s Carolina Marin won her first Grand Prix Gold event, ending home favourite Gilmour’s good run, where Europe did well again at the expense of the Brits as Fuchs/Michels put […]

Spain’s Carolina Marin won her first Gold event, ending home favourite Gilmour’s good run, where Europe did well again at the expense of the Brits as Fuchs/Michels put out the English pair.

By Michael Burke, Badzine Correspondent, live from London.  Photos: Raphael Sachetat for Badmintonphoto (live).

Carolina Marin (pictured left) of Spain ended British hopes at the Adidas London Grand Prix Gold as she beat Kirsty Gilmour (pictured right) in straight games in the first match between two of Europe’s most promising young women’s singles players.

The early exchanges saw the players probe around each other’s game, and Gilmour took the edge with powerful play, but Carolina worked her way into the game slowly and came good at the business end as she took 5 straight points before finishing 21-19.

The Spaniard made a hard start to the second game, and after taking a 5-0 lead, held a similar advantage at the mid-point. Marin accelerated to 21-9 as her tournament experience paid off, just too good for the Scot.

Afterwards Gilmour spoke about her performance, “This is my first major major final. Maybe I wasn’t ready to win it but getting to this point is a big positive for me. It’s a great experience.

“It was tricky. We’ve never played against each other before now so there was a little bit of figuring each other out at the start. I got ahead but she clawed it back and managed to figure me out but it was a really good game and I really enjoyed it. I just need to get a bit more solid in the longer rallies. I’m fit physically so it’s just about getting pushed that little bit extra.”

“It’s unbelievable,” Marin said of her first Grand Prix Gold victory.  “I’m really, really happy with my tournament because I didn’t feel 100%, because it was only two weeks ago that I started to practice again, as I have a slight injury in my knee. But I tried to do my best, and I did.

“I had some hard matches, but I tried to prepare and be ready for all of them. I was a little angry, because I didn’t do my plan, so I just tried to keep my mind and think about what I had to do, and I did.”

The home chances had already seen disappointment as Chris Langridge and Heather Olver (pictured left) lost to Germans Michael Fuchs and Birgit Michels (pictured right). They played out a very close first game, where at 19-all, the Germans just held their composure better in the important points to take the first 21-19.

The momentum stayed with the Germans at the start of the second, as Langridge/Olver started to get frustrated. The Germans edged ahead and then held the advantage to the end as they took the match in 45 minutes.

Speaking afterwards, the Germans said, “It feels great. When you reach the finals you want to win. We were all nervous at the start of the match but we got a grip faster. We struggled a bit in the middle of the first game but we pulled through to take it.

“The second game we had a good plan and it worked well for us so fortunately we finished it off and won.  Next up is Denmark, France, then the Bitburger but even before that first we have some German league matches so it’s very busy for us.”

The Brits were obviously disappointed and Chris spoke after the match to say, “It’s so tough. You think you’re doing all the right things coming up to a game. We played well the day before. It just didn’t happen today.

“Credit to the Germans.  They played well. If we don’t play well enough and they play well, it’s going to be comfy for them. It’s just gutting.  It really is gutting.”

Heather continued, “I think if we could’ve nicked that first set, things would’ve been a different story, maybe we would’ve settled a bit more. I think the whole match, it was a little bit edgy, and we never really had any momentum. In the second, they got a comfy lead, and we were always fighting to get back into it, and they wouldn’t let us.”

The full results for the day can be found here


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