PETALING JAYA: Carolina Marin is the defending Olympics women’s singles badminton champion. But she would rather not be defending the title.

She has become the first shuttler to openly call for the Tokyo Olympics to be postponed amid the growing threat of the Covid-19 virus.

The 26-year-old Spaniard stressed that the uncertainty caused by the deadly pandemic is making it tough for athletes to prepare and reach their optimum ahead of the Games, scheduled for July 24-Aug 9.

“The situation of the Olympic Games right now is complicated,” said Marin, who is also a three-time world champion, in a 80-second video clip shared on her official Facebook account.

“There are many countries in a state of alarm and one of them is Spain. Right now, I think that we are not on an equal footing with the rest of the world.

“My opinion is that the Games should be postponed and the (Tokyo 2020 organisers and International Olympic Committee) give us the answer as soon as possible.

“All athletes now live in uncertainty of not knowing what is going to happen.”

Like many other shuttlers, Marin is currently self-quarantining herself upon returning to Spain after competing at the All-England last week.

She made it to the semi-finals before being eliminated by eventual champion Tai Tzu-ying of Taiwan.Despite being confined to her home, Marin told her fans she would be doing strength exercises for the next two weeks to maintain her fitness.

“Given the circumstances we are all in, I train at home and I want to show you a bit of the training area,” said Marin, showing herself seated on a mat in patio of her home.

“Here, I will continue to train with the (list of) workouts that my physical trainer recommended for me. This is far from ideal for most athletes, but we just have to adapt as best as possible maintain the muscle tone during this hiatus.”

At the end of the video, Marin also sent heartfelt wishes to all her fellow Spaniards who work as frontliners in the health system which is facing a crisis in the country.

“We want to thank all the workers in the healthcare, pharmacy and supermarket services for helping us in these difficult times,” she said.

Spain is the fourth worst-hit nation in the world for Covid-19 with more than 14,700 cases recorded, claiming 638 lives to date.

All copyrights for this article are reserved to The Star