(Photo: Badmintonphoto)
Feeling the love in Spain
Date: 12/15/2021 1:39 PM
Published by : Alan Raftery
The noise in the Palacio de los Deportes Carolina Marín is deafening when Spanish players are on court. A majority school-age crowd at the World Championships 2021 on home soil has really demonstrated the love for the sport in Spain. 

Despite the three-time World Champion Carolina Marin not being able to play in the arena named after her in Huelva, there were plenty of Spanish players to get behind and support. 

-I feel really good right now, to play here at home with the crowd on my side. It’s crazy to think about it. It’s an amazing feeling, said Luis Enrique Penalver 

He also sent a message to the fans, many of which may be aspiring players aiming to follow in his footsteps. 

-I can just say to them that badminton is an amazing sport. I really have fun playing, training and all the places I am able to go because of badminton. So, I say to them, try it, if you like it just keep going and train, and enjoy playing. 

Keep fighting
Beatriz Corrales/ Clara Azurmendi also came of court with smiles after a memorable experience.
-It is really nice to play here. It doesn’t matter if we played a really good rally or a really bad rally, they were supporting us, and motivated us to keep fighting, Corrales reflected. 

The crowd support really does makes a difference and gives players a boost. 

-With the Spanish crowd it was just amazing. Hearing them we want to fight to win more points. 

Thank you!
-We would love to say thank you to everyone to came to watch us. We are going to train a lot and hopefully, we will have some wins for us and them in the future, Azurmendi stated. 

-Keep enjoying and supporting badminton. It does not matter who is playing but enjoying having the World Championships in Spain, Corrales added.

The Pablo Abian show
When the veteran warrior Pablo Abian steps on court, it is always a great show. A player who over the years has embodied the essence of heart and determination played the in-form Srikanth Kidambi. He was not able to grind down his opponent this time.
-It was a tough match. It was difficult for me with Srikanth’s good attacks. The match did not go as expected, especially I did not feel very good. In the second game, we had very good rallies which was better. It is not the best draw I can get for such an important World Championships.

Abian, 36, made clear he is not stopping anytime soon. 

-I will have a week break, and then I will start to prepare the following games. The Mediterranean Games was where I got a gold medal, and I will prepare for the World Championships we have in six months and then my big goal is Paris 2024. I have big goals to achieve and I will work for this. 

True love
Despite a tough draw and early exit, Abian appreciates the crowd supporting him all the way and returns the love. 

-For me to play in Spain, to play here in Huelva, my club, it is like my city, my home. They love me very much. I was very impressed by all the support that I get, they were all cheering for me. I received all their love, I also love them very much, so I feel very good here.  

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