An example of ACL tear – Carolina Marin

Carolina Marin ACL tear

Carolina Marin is an Olympic champion (2016 Rio), three-time World champion (2014, 2015 and 2018), four-time European champion and former World’s No. 1 in BWF rankings for women’s singles. She holds the World No. 1 title for a record number of 66 weeks.

During the Daihatsu Indonesian Masters 2019, when Marin leads the finals with 9-2 against Saina Nehwal.

She was retiring from the tournament as a result of ACL injury (tear of the anterior cruciate ligament). On clear observation of her play, the reason for the injury could be answered.

Below is critical analytics from a sports science perspective, done on her play and the contributing factors which resulted in the injury.

Several times in the course of her gaming career she has been playing the attacking overhead shorts. But this time the result was ACL injury.

The injury took place during an overhead attacking smash/ drive, but she has played these particular shorts many times.

Analytical description about the injury: Marin played a forehand attacking drive from the rear corner and opponent pushed the shuttle to right side midcourt.

Marin went for an attacking smash with massive hop (about 1.5 meters) from the right foot from the midcourt to the right side of the court and landed on the right foot.

She landed on the heel with the extended knee (stiff leg landing), which produced the greater Vertical ground reaction force.

Stiff leg landing with heel contact first along with knee extension are all the factors which contribute to a non-contact ACL injury.

Another contributing factor is the flexion and abduction moment at the hip and forward translation of the body with shifting of weight to the right side during the landing created a resultant force.

This resultant force and GRF (Ground Reaction Force) collectively caused for the more valgus (28°) at the knee joint. This collectively resulted in the ACL injury.

How can we prevent this injury?

When an injury occurring at top badminton players, it is often complex and cannot be explained easily.

Lots of factors can happen like, not enough previous rest times causing tiredness, other mental factors causing loss of focus, nutritional fails (carbohydrate filling), overtraining.

That’s all about top badminton. I am specifically not mentioning bad techniques at top players as these bad movements are already fixed in their early careers.

But, if we talk about amateur and leisure badminton players, this could be one of, if not the most relevant cause of the injury. When we are getting into the intensity of the game and feel forceful and unbeatable we tend to go above and beyond unnecessarily.

We want to discover what else could be done, right? So we will try slightly new things – deliberately to rival or coincidentally – which were not properly learned and thoroughly practised.

We do not want to lose so we will improvise the solutions which could end positively or unluckily. We tend to forget that our tendons, ligaments and joints need more time then muscles to train.

It means, when you try a new movement with full force, you often risking an injury. It differs for everybody but my observation is that I need at least twice as many times for the joint to cope with a newly learned movement.

It also means that if I want to build muscles, I need to slow down, not using weights, only my body weight and try to find an exercise which carefully trains the movement supporters (tendons, ligaments, joints) whilst you also train the movement triggers (muscles).

Find out more about the injury here:


Stories shared on Mindset Blog about injuries are for information only and those are a record of how did the author of the article get a specific injury or avoided one. These posts cannot be used as a proposed treatment. Always follow what your Physio or Sports Doctor advising/prescribing to you. Sunrise Badminton Network assumes no responsibility or liability for any loss or damage suffered by the use or misuse of any of the information or content in the above post.

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