Spain’s Carolina Marin has become the first non-Asian woman to win badminton singles Olympic gold by beating India’s PV Sindhu in the final in Rio.

Marin, from Huelva, is now the Olympic, world and European champion, and ranked number one in the world.

“I’m very excited,” she said. “I don’t know how I’m feeling now but it is amazing that my dream has come true. I just had to believe in myself.

“Thank you to Spain, thank you to my family and thanks to the team that I have because this medal is for them.”

Sindhu came from behind to take the first game but after Marin comfortably took the second, the world number one held off another fightback to win 19-21 21-12 21-15.

The 23-year-old world number one adds Olympic gold to two world titles.

Sindhu was looking to become the first Indian to win Olympic badminton gold.

India's Sindhu Pusarla returns a shot against Hungary's Laura Sarosi during a women's badminton match at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, Aug. 11, 2016. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
India’s Sindhu Pusarla returns a shot against Carolina Marin ┬áduring a women’s badminton match at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio

“It means everything to me now because it is my first Olympics and I am a silver medallist, so I think I am on cloud nine,” said the 21-year-old from Hyderabad.

“It’s been a fantastic week for me so it’s time to celebrate now. I am really happy. It was a fantastic game today, she played brilliantly and I congratulate her.”

Ninth-seeded PV Sindhu, lithe and lethal on court, routed her higher-ranked Japanese opponent Nozomi Okuhara 21-19, 21-10 in a fast-paced 50-minute game to enter Friday’s women’s badminton final at the 2016 Rio Games. Assured of a silver medal, Sindhu is also the youngest Indian to win an Olympic medal.

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