Spanish badminton great Carolina Marín will return to the court at the 2022 European Badminton Championships ©Getty Images

The 2022 European Badminton Championships are set to start in Spanish capital Madrid and feature the return of five-time winner Carolina Marín of the host nation. 

Huelva-born Marín claimed Rio 2016 gold after coming from a game down to secure a 19-21, 21-12, 21-15 victory over India's PV Sindhu in the final.

The first European woman to win Olympic gold in badminton missed the chance to defend her title at Tokyo 2020 due to a knee injury, but will make a comeback on home courts in Madrid. 

Marín is poised to return to competition after being inactive for 11 months and will debut against the Czech Kateřina Tomalová in the second round. 

The Rio 2016 gold medallist said her knee is "more than ready" in an Instagram post, and enters the European Championships as the defending champion after tasting victory in Kyiv last year.

Organised on behalf of Badminton Europe by the Spanish Badminton Federation, the tournament will be taking place at Polideportivo Municipal Gallur, scheduled to run from tomorrow until Saturday (April 30). 

The Spanish Badminton Federation has successfully hosted major events in the past such as the 2018 European Championships and the 2021 World Championships. 

Apart from Marín, Spaniards Clara Azurmendi, Beatriz Corrales, Pablo Abian and Luís Enrique Peñalver will be searching titles on home courts.  

Azurmendi will not only be playing in singles but also in doubles with Corrales, whom she partnered with at the Spain Masters last year. 

Joan Monroy and Carlos Piris are ready to surprise the home crowd as well as wildcard entries Jose Molares - partnered with Jaume Perez - and Alberto Zapico with Lorena Uslé.

The women's singles field also features several Danish contenders including Mia Blichfeldt, Line Christophersen and Line Højmark Kjærsfeldt.

Christophersen, who will be hoping to repay her loss to Marín in last year's final, faces Slovenian Petra Polanc in her opening match. 

Danish second seed Anders Antonsen is the defending men's champion.

Antonsen won last year's final via a walkover when compatriot Viktor Axelsen - who has since gone on to win Olympic gold - tested positive for COVID-19.