Olympic gold medallist and triple world champion Carolina Marin returns to the court later today for her first competitive match since injuring her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in her right knee during the women’s singles final against India’s Saina Nehwal at the DAIHATSU Indonesia Masters in January.
She takes on Thailand’s Supanida Katethong in round one of the YONEX-SUNRISE Vietnam Open 2019 at 8.10pm local time – and she certainly seems excited.
— Carolina Marín (@CarolinaMarin) September 10, 2019
It’s been a long and arduous road back, but nothing the gritty and determined Spaniard could not achieve.
In March, she told BWF: “When I heard that I’d broken my ACL, I was really sad. I was crying. Then I told myself ‘It’s ok. These things happen’, so now I need to think positively. It’s going to be a long road to recovery and (I need) to be patient.”
Patient she was. One crucial milestone in her comeback was a return to hitting shuttlecocks – 130 days after her right knee buckled during a rally against Nehwal in the Indonesia Masters final.
Día 130 – Creo que no se me ha olvidado cómo se jugaba a esto 😅💥
— Carolina Marín (@CarolinaMarin) June 8, 2019
Her entire road to recovery has been documented on social media – from lying in hospital bed in January post-surgery, to walking on crutches and undertaking aqua rehab therapy two months later.
— Carolina Marín (@CarolinaMarin) January 29, 2019
— Carolina Marín (@CarolinaMarin) February 4, 2019
Día 71 – Nadie dijo que sería fácil, pero este camino está siendo muy especial 😉💫
— Carolina Marín (@CarolinaMarin) April 10, 2019
Marin will kickstart her bid to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Ho Chi Minh City this week followed by the VICTOR China Open 2019 next week and the Korea Open 2019 in the last week of September.
She then intends to play the European swings of the HSBC BWF World Tour in Denmark and France.
EXCLUSIVE: Olympic badminton champion announces comeback date after a seven-month break from injury.
— Olympic Channel (@olympicchannel) August 29, 2019
She is currently ranked No.26 in the world, a drop of 24 places from her peak ranking of No.2 before her enforced seven-month layoff.
While ensuring her place in Tokyo to defend her Olympic crown is her long-term goal, getting back to peak playing condition and challenging on the HSBC BWF World Tour is the immediate priority.
We wish Carolina all the best in Vietnam this week and for the rest of the year.