A relaxed Carolina Marin in action today in Huelva. Photo: Mark Phelan for Badminton Europe
This Europeans is a big goal for me - Carolina Marin
Date: 4/25/2018 8:13 PM
Published by : Mark Phelan
Imagine having the European Championships in your home city. On top of that imagine having the tournament in the arena that has been named after you. Today in Huelva, Spain Carolina Marin experienced just that and the Olympic champion wasted little time as she set out her intentions for this week. 

-This European Championships is a major goal for me this year. To play in my home town is just the best feeling and I am here to win and ready to win. 

In today’s second round Marin eased past Marie Batomene 21-15 21-12 with the former world number 1 being reasonably happy with her days work.

-Here at home everyone wants to beat me. I must be prepared for that and I prepared very well for this match. It went according to plan and I was happy to get this first match out of the way.

The atmosphere has been electric all day in the hall and the Carolina Marin Arena was packed to capacity for the hours leading up to the home hero arriving on court. The level of the support even caught Marin by surprise and she of course was very thankful for the support. 

-I really did not expect that level of support. I could feel the excitement and I am happy I could repay the people of Huelva with a win. Now it is time to focus on the next match and hopefully everyone will return to support all the players and show them how much we love badminton. 

Normal service resumed for world number 1

Viktor Axelsen (pictured above) returned to competition this afternoon after an extended period out through injury. The world champion looks to have put that spell now firmly behind him as he breezed past Adam Mendrek in round two today in Huelva. 

-I think today I had a good feeling and I feel like I am where I want to be after the period out. You never really know in training but today’s match felt good so things are looking up.”

Coming into the tournament Axelsen was unsure of his game but the World Champion was happy just to be back playing at tournament level.

-In training I had a few small set backs but nothing major. I had a small idea of where my game was at but you never really know until you take to the competition court once again. I am one of the guys who everyone wants to beat of course so its nice to be back and working on match preparation and tactics. I think I am in a good place.” 

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