(Photo: Badmintonphoto)
Expect surprises from the Spanish side
Date: 4/22/2022 5:36 PM
Published by : Sara Gonzalez Martinez (BEC)
The European Championships is Europe’s most exciting event of the year but this 2022, it will be even more so for the Spanish players that will be fighting on home soil. We have talked with one of their stars, Clara Azurmendi, about her preparation for such a special occasion and what we can expect from her and the Spaniards.  

The European Championships are the most special badminton event on our continent, but they are even more special when you get to experience them in your home country. That will be the case for Spanish players that will be meeting with the rest of the European talents in Madrid next week in an event that has almost sold out its tickets.

Lots of excitement
The host country has many reasons to be happy ¬— including the comeback of Carolina Marin on home soil and a Spanish team that is already feeling the excitement as well as the warmth of their home audience. Clara Azurmendi is, of course, one of those looking forward to Monday.

- As a Spanish player, I feel extremely lucky to have the chance to play in Madrid for this event. I’m very excited to play the European Championships at home and that everyone here can enjoy something as big as this event, Azurmendi said.

Ready for the upcoming challenges
The last year has been a good period for the Spanish player. Azurmendi got to represent her country in the world’s biggest sports event, the Olympics, and got some important wins too — a win against Mia Blichfeldt on the Danish player’s home soil at the Denmark Open 2021 that booked her a spot in the quarterfinals, and a gold and a silver in the Mexican International 2021. Azurmendi feels like this is a great moment for her. 

- The preparation has gone really well. I feel that I’m in really good shape right now and that I’m very mentally prepared. I think that the tournaments that I played in March have given me that extra motivation and I hope to peak in the European Championships, she explained.

The Spaniard will not only be playing in singles but also in doubles with Beatriz Corrales whom she partnered with not even a year ago. She is feeling positive about the start they got off to and about their future.

- The preparation for doubles has also been good. It hasn’t even been a year since we’re together in this partnership so we’re kind of rookies in a way, but I think that our pair is strengthening rapidly. We are having many good tournaments and we hope to continue this same way, if not in this tournament in the following ones. We want to keep strengthening the partnership and adding good results, Azurmendi said.

Aiming high
Good preparation always pays off, and Azurmendi hopes that it shows in her performance in Madrid. The player feels like it’s been a good season for her, and she hopes to continue along the same lines for the big event.

- My main goal in these championships is to continue playing as I’ve been doing in the tournaments of this season, which I think it’s being superb, Azurmendi stated.

- Right now, the women’s singles in Europe is really strong. I think that there are many high-level players, it will be a nice competition in the category, she added.

A team ready to surprise the home audience
There’s just one thing better than winning, and that is winning at home —one match, two matches, or why not, a medal. Azurmendi is ready to do whatever it takes both in women’s singles and women’s doubles.

- Why not dream big, with a medal. I know that it is ambitious and difficult, but I feel that I’m in a great moment in my career. I will fight for it in singles and in doubles together with Beatriz. We know that the draw is tough, but we will fight and try to surprise everyone, she said.

Apart from Azurmendi, her women’s doubles partner Beatriz Corrales, and the reigning champion Carolina Marin, the host country will also be represented by Pablo Abian, Luís Enrique Peñalver, Joan Monroy/ Carlos Piris, and wildcard entries Jose Molares/ Jaume Perez and Alberto Zapico/ Lorena Uslé. The Spanish team is more than ready for Monday.

- I think that we have a great team. We are all excited and looking forward to the start of the championships. We are all very motivated and we all want to fight to give our best performance ever. I am sure that we will give more than one surprise, and that the home audience will get to enjoy it. 

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