Marin, Okuhara confident of ending China's grip in Rio
Spanish world No. 1 Marin and Japan's All-England champion Okuhara confident of Olympic gold in Rio
China have won 16 gold medals in badminton at the Olympics since the sport was introduced at the Barcelona Games in 1992.
The Asian powerhouse swept all five titles at the last Games in London in 2012.
But the one-time all-conquering Chinese women have struggled in recent times, with no shuttler winning a singles event at a Badminton World Federation SuperSeries Premier tournament or the Finals over the last six months.
Spain's Carolina Marin and Japan's Nozomi Okuhara are two shuttlers who are proving more than capable of beating China's best, and the duo agree that their stranglehold in women's singles at the Olympics could end at the Rio Games in August.
"I don't feel like a two-time world champion, but of course I am one of the best players in the world right now," said Marin at the OUE Singapore Open press conference yesterday at the Mandarin Orchard.
"If you compare the past with the present, I think all the players are now not scared to play the Chinese; I think it's because we broke the Chinese 'wall'.
"I know there are many other good players... we will see which player is in the best position and puts in the best performance (in Rio) to win."
The 22-year-old, who won back-to-back world championship crowns in 2014 and 2015, has hogged the world No. 1 spot since June last year.
Her reign was only interrupted between August and October, when India's Saina Nehwal topped the rankings.
Buoyed by her win in the SuperSeries Finals in Dubai last December - compatriot Kento Momota claimed the men's singles crown - and the prestigious All-England Open this year, Okuhara, too, was in a bullish mood.
She said: "The previous Olympics were dominated by the Chinese but, in recent times, players from different countries have beaten them, and I believe I can do it.
"I think I can beat the Chinese as well and win the Olympic gold."
The Japanese are seen by some as the nation most likely to topple China, but they were hit last week by an illegal betting scandal involving men's singles stars Kenichi Tago and world No. 2 Momota.
Both were slated to compete at this week's Singapore Open - which begins today at the Indoor Stadium - but were withdrawn after the Nippon Badminton Association kicked them out of their Olympic team for Rio.
Journalists were barred from asking questions relating to the scandal at the pre-tournament press conference but, speaking through a translator, Okuhara said that the "team's spirit was high".
The Japanese men's team beat their Chinese counterparts in the semi-finals en route to winning the 2014 Thomas Cup and Okuhura said: "(The successes) have stimulated us and we have been motivating each other.
"The team spirit is high, even now."
What's on today
MEN'S SINGLES: Derek Wong v Soo Teck Zhi (Mas), Loh Kean Yew v Sony Dwi Kuncoro (Ina)
WOMEN'S SINGLES: Grace Chua v Hera Desi (Ina), Ren-Ne Ong v Petya Nedelcheva (Bul), Deline Quek v Susanto Yulia Yosephin (Ina), Tan Ai Ninna v Cheng Chi-ya (Tpe)
MEN'S DOUBLES: Bimo Adi Prakoso/Jason Wong v Liao Kuan-hao/Lu Chia-pin (Tpe), Danny Bawa Chrisnanta/Hendra Wijaya v Terry Hee/Loh Kean Hean, Chuang Jin Lei/Lee Jian Liang v Tai An Khang/Hong Kheng Yew (Mas)
MIXED DOUBLES: Bimo Adi Prakoso/Citra Dewi Sari v Lee Jhe-Huei Lee/Wu Ti Jung (Tpe), Jason Wong/Elaine Chua v Pranaav Jerry Chopra/Nelakurihi Sikki Reddy (Ind)
MAIN DRAW (SELECTED)
MIXED DOUBLES: Danny Bawa Chrisnanta/Vanessa Neo v Jacco Arends/Selena Piek (Hol), Terry Hee/Tan Wei Han v Solgyu Choi/Eom Hye Won (Kor), Xu Chen/Ma Jin (Chn) v Alan Chan/ Tse Ying Suet (HK), Liu Cheng/Bao Yixin (Chn) v Liao Min-chun/Chen Hsiao-huan (Tpe), Tontowi Ahmad/Liliyana Natsir (Ina) v Keigo Sonoda/Naoko Fukuman (Jpn)
- Singaporean unless stated