sport

Rio 2016: Hounslow's Rajiv Ouseph proud despite bowing out of badminton tournament to Viktor Axelsen

The Hounslow man gave everything he had but the Dane, seeded fourth, was too strong for him over the course of the contest

Proud: Rajiv Ouseph(Image: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Rajiv Ouseph bowed out of the Rio 2016 badminton competition at the quarter final stage after a straight-games loss (21-12, 21-16) to Viktor Axelsen but can be proud of his achievements.

The Hounslow man gave everything he had but the Dane, seeded fourth, was too strong for him over the course of the contest.

But it completed a strong Games for Ouseph, who was knocked out in the group stage in London four years ago.

He said: “It’s great for me to get to a quarter-final at an Olympic Games, but I really felt that if I played well I would have a chance.

“It wasn’t meant to be but when I look back at the whole Olympic tournament it’s been very good.“I think I’ve put my experience from London behind me in a very positive way. For us, it’s everything to play at an Olympics.

“For us, in Great Britain, to do well at an Olympic Games really raises the profile of badminton back home.

“Potentially I will go for Tokyo. I’m 29 now and 30 in two weeks time, so I’ll just have a rest before that.

“Anything is possible. I’ll take it year by year but I feel like I’m playing the best badminton of my career, so I don’t see why not.”

Ouseph looked likely to be outclassed by Axelsen and was out of the first game quickly with the Dane opening out a 20-7 lead to reach game point quickly.

However, the Hounslow star strung five successive points together to eventually lose the opening exchange 21-12.

The hope was that momentum would be taken into the second game and both players were making unforced errors before Ouseph moved into a 4-3 lead after an excellent rally.

Axelsen, however, withstood the pressure and edged into a 5-4 lead as he was urged on by Danish fans chanting ‘Viktor’.

That point handed him the momentum and the 22-year-old, ranked fourth in the world, started to assert his dominance, taking any opportunity offered to him, to open up a 13-7 lead.

Ouseph’s service game was what ultimately cost him as he failed to capitalise when in charge of the shuttlecock and ultimately lost the second game 21-16.

But it was the win over seventh seed Tommy Sugiarto in the last 16 that should give the 29-year-old the most pleasure.

View full mobile page