Reigning Olympic champion Carolina Marin is almost certainly out of the Tokyo Olympics after tearing the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) of her left knee, for which she will undergo surgery this week. The 27-year-old Spaniard tweeted news of the development on Tuesday after having suffered an injury in training last week.
"I confirm that I have torn the ACL and both meniscus on my left knee. I will undergo surgery this week and start my recovery...The preparation during the last two months had become very difficult for reasons beyond the team's control, but we were excited and knew that I would be on (sic) the best shape for the Olympics. It won't be possible," Marin said in her statement.
- Carolina Marín (@CarolinaMarin) June 1, 2021
Marin's injury means PV Sindhu's chances of winning a medal in Tokyo have gotten considerably higher. The Indian, who won silver in Rio, 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. If Sindhu does win gold, she will be India's most successful individual Olympian.
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 against Saina Nehwal. That injury had required surgery and a layoff lasting several months -- a result that had caused her to miss the 2019 World Championships, where Sindhu won gold.
However, Marin had returned strongly from her injury and was in strong form heading into Tokyo. She had won the Yonex Thailand Open and Toyota 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 Championships title in Kiev in May.