What does Carolina Marin's absence from Tokyo Olympics mean for PV Sindhu?
Sindhu might not be too happy about Marin missing out on the Olympics, but that does not mean the Indian will not try to cash in on the advantage she has due to the Spaniard's absence in Tokyo.
The world sporting fraternity was left in a shock yesterday when the reigning Olympic Champion, Carolina Marin, put out a tweet announcing that she has pulled out of the upcoming Tokyo Olympics due to an injury to the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) on her left knee.
Marin's announcement spread like wildfire in the world of sports, with fellow athletes and fans coming together to wish her a speedy recovery.
The 27-year-old Spaniard was in stellar form this year. She reached the final of each tournament she competed in the year 2021, winning four of those. Ranked number 4 in the recently released BWF World Rankings, Marin was expected to walk away with an easy podium finish at Tokyo with the form she was in.
As sad as it might sound, the absence of the three-time World Champion from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will certainly make the way easy for quite a few others, including Indian shuttler PV Sindhu in their bid for an Olympic mWhat does Carolina Marin's absence from Tokyo Olympics mean for PV Sindhu medal.
What does Marin's absence mean for Sindhu?
PV Sindhu and Carolina Marin are good friends off the badminton court, but inside it, they are archrivals. Both of them are fierce competitors and have faced-off in quite a few matches in their careers, with the Spaniard having a 9-5 edge over the Indian. In fact, Marin has been a constant nemesis for the Indian in crucial medal matches.
Who can forget the final of 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, where Marin defeated Sindhu 19-21, 21-12, 21-15 to be crowned the Olympic Champion in Women's Singles, after being a set down. Besides, the 25-year-old Indian was handed a proper trashing by Marin just a couple of months ago in the final of the Swiss Open where the Indian lost 12-21, 5-21 in mere 35 minutes.
Add to this the final of 2018 World Championships, wherein Sindhu fell to a 19-21, 10-21 loss, and you know why the Indian will be benefitted distinctly.
Sindhu might not be too happy about Marin missing out on the Olympics because, as a competitor, you wish to win by defeating the best, but that does not mean the Indian will not try to cash in on the advantage she has due to the Spaniard's absence in Tokyo.
Who are the others who will benefit from Marin's absence?
Apart from Sindhu, the others who would benefit from Marin's absence include Chinese Taipei's Tai Tzu Ying, Rio bronze medallist Nozomi Okuhara, Akane Yamaguchi of Japan, and the Chinese Chen Yufei.
The current world number 1, Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei, has never moved beyond the pre-quarterfinal stage at the Olympics. With one of the best in the world out of contention, Tai Tzu Ying might not get a better chance to stake her claim for an Olympic medal.
China's Chen Yufei is just 23 years old but is expected to enter as the top-ranked shuttler in the Race to Tokyo Rankings. With Marin not present in Tokyo, Yufei might be looking at a rather easy debut at the quadrennial event.
Ranked number 3 in the world currently, Nozomi Okuhara had finished behind Marin and Sindhu at the 2016 Rio Games for the bronze medal. She has since gone on to win a couple of World Championship medals besides various other Superseries events and will surely be eyeing to better the colour of her medal when she takes the court at Tokyo.
The world number 5 from Japan, Akane Yamaguchi is one of the most exciting youngsters in the world of badminton. In her first-ever Olympic appearance in 2016, she was knocked out by fellow countrywoman Okuhara. Just 23 years of age now, Yamaguchi will surely start the Tokyo Olympics as one of the top medal contenders, especially in the absence of Marin.