Seeded at 10th going into the Badminton World Championships, Carolina Marin (ESP) was the only non-Asian competitor ranked in the top 16. And, yesterday in the final of the women's singles, she upset world #1 Li Xuerei (CHN) to capture her first world title. At 21, she is only the third-ever - and youngest - European champion in the event, and the 1st not from Denmark. And, she had already won the European Championship earlier in the season. I'm a big fan of the diversification of sports, and her success in Copenhagen was a bit of a surprise. Aside from an occasional Dane, world-level badminton events are usually dominated by Asian nations, particularly China, Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, and India. In fact, Asia won 16 of the 20 medals at the Championships. I'd love to continue to see more competitiveness across the globe, and hopefully Marin's win can inspire some youths back in Spain - and elsewhere - watching to continue on in the sport. Especially after the Olympic debacle in 2012, the sport definitely needs some of this fresh breath of air.
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At Rio 2016's Barra Olympic Park
Header: Kallimamaro stadium in Athens, site of the first modern Olympics in 1896