Rajiv Ouseph believes England can cause an upset in today’s Commonwealth Games mixed badminton final with reigning champions Malaysia

The Hounslow star goes for gold in Glasgow this afternoon after helping inspire England’s 3-0 semi-final win over India in the mixed team event, so avenging defeat to the same opponents in the last four in Delhi four years ago.

Top seeds Malaysia will be favourites to defend the crown, but Ouseph insists they are not invincible and may in fact be more vulnerable than for some time.

He said: “The Malaysians have been pushed in this competition so far and are probably not as strong as they have been previously so there is no reason why we cannot push them all the way.”

Ouseph will not lack for spirit after coming from behind in both the games to defeat Kashyap Parupalli, a man ranked five places above him in the current world rankings.

With a 50-50 record between then over previous meetings it was always going to be tight and the Indian led the first game 6-2 and 11-7 before Ouseph found momentum to take it 21-16.

 

The west Londoner trailed again 11-9 at halfway in the second game, his opponent having pulled off one incredible retrieve when horizontal at full stretch.

Ouseph looked to have gained control at 17-14, but he had to hold off a late surge from his rival to win 21-19 and close out the match.

In a game of fine margins Ouseph admitted England’s mixed doubles pairing Chris and Gabrielle Adcocks 21-16, 16-21, 21-11 win in the first rubber had possibly helped give him the psychological edge over Parupalli.

He said: “It was always going to be a close match as we have played quite a few times and it has been quite close a lot of times.

“I’ve beaten him three times and he has probably won three as well, so we are pretty even. We haven’t played for a while now though and he is higher ranked than me and has had some very good results.

“I did think I would go into the match 1-0 up and that proved to the case, so there was probably a bit more pressure on him because he knew he has to win.”

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