Carolina Marin became the first European woman to win badminton gold at the Olympics by beating Pusarla V Sindhu in a thrilling final on Friday.
The 1996 men's champion Poul-Erik Hoyer Larsen was the only badminton player from Europe to win gold at the Games until Spaniard Marin came from behind to triumph 19-21 21-12 21-15 at Riocentro Pavilion 4 on day 14.
World number one Marin has claimed two world titles as well as being crowned European champion in the last three years and the 23-year-old showed she is the cream of the crop by adding the Olympic title to her list of achievements.
Marin fought back impressively after Sindhu made an encouraging start and was rewarded by edging the opening set watched by a packed crowd.
The two players produced some epic rallies and it was Marin who took a grip on the match, levelling the contest and taking charge in the deciding set.
Left-hander Marin was pegged back to 10-10 soon after opening a five-point lead, but kept her composure as the tension mounted and dropped to the court in tears after Sindhu could not return a rasping overhead.