Badminton: Top-ranked Marin sets sights on tour final; HK Open holder in q-finals, Nehwal & Liang also through

Carolina Marin of Spain returns a shot to Yip Pui-yin of Hong Kong during the Yonex-Sunrise Hong Kong Open badminton tournament on Nov 24, 2016.
Carolina Marin of Spain returns a shot to Yip Pui-yin of Hong Kong during the Yonex-Sunrise Hong Kong Open badminton tournament on Nov 24, 2016.PHOTO: EPA

HONG KONG (AFP) - Top-ranked Carolina Marin will not rest until she has captured the World Superseries Final in Dubai, the Spaniard vowed on Thursday, after cruising through her second-round match at the Hong Kong Open.

The two-time world champion is already set to finish 2016 on a career high after becoming the first non-Asian to win the women's singles gold medal at the Summer Olympics.

The historic victory came months after Marin secured her second European Championship title, consolidating her position as the world No. 1 in the Badminton World Federation's global rankings.

But outside of the Olympic triumph, she is still looking to grab her first superseries trophy for 2016.

"I would like to end the year with the title in Dubai," the 23-year-old told AFP, as she brushed off suggestions that anyone threatened her reign at the top.

"When you control yourself and when you do what you know on the court, you can beat anyone."

The defending Hong Kong Open champion overcame an early deficit to beat local Yip Pui Yin in straight games, 21-18, 21-16, as the Spaniard's signature shrieks drew the occasional jeer from the partisan crowd.

In the day's other action, India's sixth-ranked Saina Nehwal weathered a three-game battle to book her ticket to the quarter-finals with a 21-18, 9-21, 21-16 win over Japan's Sayaka Sato.

Singapore's Liang Xiaoyu thumped Hong Konger Yeung Sum Yee 21-9, 21-12 in only 30 minutes.