Reigning Olympic champion Carolina Marin extended her European empire to a fourth consecutive title sparking early fiestas in her hometown of Huelva in the south of Spain.
Marin is the first women’s singles player in history to win four European trophies in a row.
The Rio 2016 gold medallist beat Russian Evgeniya Kosetskaya 21-15, 21-7 in the final in just 35 minutes.
Born in Huelva, Marin had the adoring home fans behind her during the entire tournament and after match point fell to her knees and wept tears of joy in front of a packed crowd full of friends and family.
— Ayuntamiento Huelva (@AytoHuelva) April 29, 2018
It was an emotional victory and one that the Rio 2016 gold medallist says she’ll never forget:
— Carolina Marin (@CarolinaMarin) April 29, 2018
Bigger than Messi
Lionel Messi’s Barcelona may have won the La Liga title on the same day (Sunday April 29) but there was no competition as to who was going to dominate the front pages of the local newspaper on Monday:
— Huelva Información (@huelva_info) April 30, 2018
The pride of Andalucia
An ecstatic Marin spoke to the gathered press after winning the tournament with the home hero hailed with a standing ovation on receiving her winner’s medal.
I didn’t want to finish on court today. I just wanted to play a long game. This is something very special to me. I was crying because it is very special to play in front of my home crowd, and I don’t know if I will do it again. – Carolina Marin after winning EuroHuelva 2018
With a huge following on social media, Carolina used her channels to rally support both locally and across a country which is not historically big on badminton. The Huelva history-maker has become a pioneer and her success has seen a surge in interest in the sport.
Hoy no habría sido posible sin vosotros! Solo un partido más, vamos! 💥❤
Without you it wouldn't have been possible today! Just one match more, come on! 💥❤#PuedoPorquePiensoQuePuedo pic.twitter.com/PxaMaLOvpX
— Carolina Marin (@CarolinaMarin) April 28, 2018
Carolina’s golden moment
No other Spaniard had ever won an Olympic badminton gold medal when Marin walked into the Olympic arena at Rio 2016 to face India’s Sindhu Pusarla in the singles final. Spain’s badminton trailblazer also made history that day. Here’s the best rally from the match:
Want more? You can watch the entire final here:
Badminton’s bright future
At just 24 years of age, with an Olympic gold medal, two World Championships, and four consecutive European titles already in the bank, it still feels like Carolina Marin is just getting started and will give Huelva so many more opportunities to shout: Olé!