Badminton: Top seed Marin retains title with win over Nehwal

Spain's Carolina Marin reacts winning over India's Saina Nehwal after their women's finals badminton match at the BWF World Championships on Aug 16, 2015.
Spain's Carolina Marin reacts winning over India's Saina Nehwal after their women's finals badminton match at the BWF World Championships on Aug 16, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS

(AFP) - World No. 1 Carolina Marin has defended her women's singles title with a straightforward victory over Indian second seed Saina Nehwal at the badminton world championships in Jakarta.

The 22-year-old top seed never really looked in trouble as she charged to a 21-16, 21-19 win over her opponent to take home her second successive gold medal.

Marin was brimming with confidence in the first game, pumping her fist and screaming in triumph as she extended a comfortable 21-16 lead over Nehwal.

But the Indian shuttler wasn't intimidated, retaliating early in the second game to take an 11-8 lead before Marin responded with seven unanswered points to put Nehwal back on the defensive.

The pair were neck and neck at 18-18 but the European champion proved too strong for Nehwal, the first Indian to ever make a world championship final.

The Spaniard burst into tears and collapsed on the court as Nehwal's final shot sailed out, delivering Marin the title she wasn't sure she would ever defend.

She suffered a foot injury a month ago and refused to speculate about her chances of retaining her crown.

But the unsteadiness evident in her early matches gave way to sensational form later in the tournament, delivering Marin her fourth title of the season.

It was only the second time a Chinese player had not featured in the women's singles final since the Asian badminton powerhouse began competing at the world championships in 1983.