Ouseph, Egelstaff knocked out of Olympic badminton

Great Britain's Rajiv Ouseph and Susan Egelstaff were eliminated from the men's and women's badminton at the Olympics on Tuesday.


Egelstaff is hoping to enjoy the perks of being an Olympic athlete as her London 2012 dream ended against Sayaka Sato.

She fell to a 19-21, 21-16, 21-12 defeat against world number 12 Sato in her last group game as she exited the competition despite winning her first tie against Slovenia’s Maja Tvrdy on Saturday.

The double Commonwealth Games bronze medallist wasn’t expecting to progress from a tough group and is planning to make the most of her status as a home Olympian.

“Obviously on paper she was expected to beat me. I was pleased with how I played. The support I was getting pushed me on to play even better,” she said.

“I'm pleased I did well and now I can enjoy the rest of the Olympics. I'll not get another again so I want to make the best of it.

"I will have a little rest and will do some celeb spotting. I saw Roger Federer in the village the other day – that's the best one so far."

The Scot dispatched Tvrdy (21-15, 21-10) in front of Prince Charles at Wembley Arena on Saturday to make the tie against Sato the group decider.

After a strong start, Egelstaff took the first game 21-19, leading the interval 11-7 and holding off a late comeback from her Japanese opponent.

But Sato produced a markedly-improved performance in the second game to draw level and secure her place in the last 16, with a convincing win in the last face-off.

And while she is still considering her next move after the Games, 29-year-old Egelstaff is doubtful of her chances of making Rio 2016.

“For the last four years the only thing I've been thinking about is qualifying for the Olympic Games. It'll be nice to have a bit of a rest," she added.

“I'm a little too old for that (qualifying for Rio 2016). I'm really happy the one Olympics I'll play at is here. I've never done anything like this before.

“I'm really pleased I played well but of course I'm disappointed to lose.”

Ouseph, meanwhile, has expressed his disappointment after his London 2012 badminton singles campaign ended in a group stage exit.

He fell to an unexpected 21-12, 17-21, 19-21 defeat to Guatemala’s Kevin Cordon to crash out – despite beating Sweden’s Henri Hurskainen in his opening group match.

And Ouseph was left to rue missed chances as Britain’s hopes of badminton success in London were extinguished following teammate Susan Egelstaff’s earlier defeat.

“I had my chance at 19-18 in the third game but I didn’t take it,” said the British No.1. “It was really hard to play on the side I finished on.

“The length was getting short and I wasn’t able to deal with that. When it got towards the end of the game I made some silly choices.”

Ouseph took the first set 21-12 to leave him one set from a last 16 place as the home crowd roared him on, but Cordon fought back to level the match and pile the pressure on the Brit.

In remarkable symmetry to counterpart Egelstaff’s earlier fate, Ouseph squandered a one-game lead to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory and exit the competition at the first hurdle.

Despite leading the final game interval 11-9, Ouseph fell to an agonising 19-21 defeat as Cordon seized control of the tie and ended Britain’s badminton hopes.

And the 25-year-old hinted that the experience of competing in front of a home crowd may have added a degree of pressure.

He added: “It was a brilliant crowd, in the first and second matches they’d been great, really encouraging.

“The whole experience was really good. There was a point in the third game when I was 6-2 down. They cheered me back. I’m really thankful for that.

“I think there was a bit of pressure but it’s the same for every athlete at their home Games.”

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