Spaniard Carolina Marin stunned reigning Olympic champion Li Xuerui of China to become the first European in 15 years to clinch the women’s singles title at the World Badminton Championships here Sunday.
The World No.10, who had defeated India’s P.V. Sindhu in the semi-finals Saturday, drubbed World No.1 Li 17-21, 21-17, 21-18 in an hour and 18 minutes to notch her first victory over the top seed in four meetings.
Danish great Camilla Martin was the last European to win the World Championships in 1999 which were also held here.
Li failed to clinch the coveted title for the second year in a row after losing in last year’s final as well to Thai Ratchanok Intanon.
The Olympic champion had to settle for the silver while losing semi-finalists Sindhu and Japanese Minatsu Mitani went home with the bronze.
Earlier, South Korean 12th seeds Sung Hyun Ko and Baek Choel Shin upset second seeded countrymen Yong Dae Lee and Yeon Seong Yoo 22-20, 21-23, 21-18 to clinch the men’s doubles title.
The women’s doubles title, on the other hand, was taken by Chinese fifth seeds Qing Tian and Yunlei Zhao, who defeated fourth seeded compatriots Xiaoli Wang and Yang Yu 21-19, 21-15 at the Ballerup Super Arena.