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Marin wins women’s singles title as Yamaguchi retires

Carolina Marin claimed the women’s singles title as Akane Yamaguchi was forced to retire at the YONEX All England Open Badminton Championships 2024. 

With the game at 26-24 10-1 in Marin’s favour, the Japanese shuttler was unable to continue with an injured hip.

For Marin, the title marks a return to the top tier in Birmingham for the first time since 2015.

The lead changed hands seven times in the first game, with no player ever more than three points ahead.

Yamaguchi saw five game-point opportunities pass her by as Marin battled until the death.

The Spaniard needed a medical timeout after letting her second chance at winning the game go by.

Restored to health, Marin took the first game which was the joint-longest of the 2024 Championships.

But while Marin found her level, Yamaguchi had injured her hip in that epic first game and at 10-1 down in the second, she was forced to retire.

The 2022 champion had played a sapping three-game encounter with An Se Young in the semi-final and the showpiece proved a step too far for the battle-weary fourth seed.

Meanwhile, Marin did not drop a game en route to the title and is buoyed by how quickly the much-discussed changes she made ahead of the tournament have come to fruition.

“I feel extremely happy,” Marin said. “I’m very proud of myself. It was a tough week and I feel really, really proud because at the beginning of the week, I had a hard conversation with my coach about the things that I have to improve.

“And this is what I did during the whole week. So this is why I feel really proud and of course I feel really really happy to win my second All England after nine years.

“We didn’t think about this tournament, we thought about the things that I need to improve, but not for this tournament.

“Actually, my main goal is going to be at the Olympic Games in the summer.

“I’m happy because this is the way that I have to keep going, so I want to keep the focus in the right way and just do new things when I have to play any game.”

For Yamaguchi, the focus will turn to coming back stronger as the fourth seed looks ahead to a chance to win a first Olympic medal.

She said: “My injury is in my right hip. I was fine this morning and I warmed up as usual which was fine.

“After a few rallies in this match, I started to feel something was not right.

“I wasn’t 100 per cent in the first game so I was trying to construct the rallies with what I could do.

“Marin made some mistakes which meant I could get to match point, but after that, I wasn’t able to win it.”

“If I won the first game, there would have been more chance for me to win the tournament, which would have made it difficult to make the decision to withdraw.

“I was finding it difficult to move so it was a difficult situation.”


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