Tokyo favourite Carolina Marin suffers ACL injury in training

AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein

Carolina Marin, the reigning Olympic champion and one of the favourites to win gold in Tokyo this year, is in doubt to defend her title after sustaining an ACL injury in training on Friday.

The 27-year-old made the announcement via a statement on social media that she had suffered discomfort in training and that the tests had confirmed the injury. "After the first tests carried out, the doctors have verified that the anterior cruciate ligament of the left knee has been affected. Soon I will be able to give you more information," she said.

Should Marin's injury rule her out of Tokyo, it would significantly raise PV Sindhu's Olympic medal chances. The Indian currently trails Marin 5-9 in their head-to-head record and the last time they played each other at the Swiss Open final earlier this year, Sindhu was roundly defeated in just 35 minutes.

This is not the first time the Spaniard's Olympic dreams have been in jeopardy. She had suffered an ACL rupture in her right knee during the final of the 2019 Indonesian Masters. That injury had required surgery and a several month long layoff -- a result that had caused her to miss the 2019 World Championships - which were subsequently won by India's PV Sindhu.

However, Marin had returned strongly from her injury and was in strong form heading into Tokyo. She had won the Yonex Open and Thailand Open in January, the Swiss Open in March and had also finished second at the 2021 HSBC BWF World Tour finals. She had also won her fifth European title in Kiev in May.