Rajiv Ouseph got England’s Yonex BWF World Championships bid off to a winning start in Paris today when he snatched a thrilling men’s singles first round clash with Dutch No. 2 Eric Pang.
But the three-times English National champion from Hounslow in Middlesex had to work for his win, needing four match points before coming through against the world No 36 21-19 15-21 23-21 in 49 minutes.
The world No 17 got off to a slow start and trailed 18-11 in the opening game before pulling back to 19-19 and going on to take the opener at his first opportunity. But Pang was always ahead in the second and squared the match 21-15.
In the decider Ouseph trailed 14-11 but the European bronze medallist and US Open champion turned the tide to stand at match point with the score 20-18. But Pang recovered and Ouseph failed to convert a third match point at 21-20 before finally holding his nerve to win 23-21.
That earned him a place in the last 32 and a likely contest against 11th seed Jan O Jorgensen, the Dane who beat him in the Yonex European Championships semi-finals in Manchester in April. Jogensen plays Austria’s Michael Lahnsteiner later today.
Head coach Andy Wood said: “It was great to get the team off to a flying start. Rajiv competed really well when it really mattered at the end of the first and third games.
“This was his first World Championships and the heat in the arena and practice hall has been extremely draining.
“We are boosted by the fact that he managed to 'tough it out' and get this victory to add to the confidence gained by winning the US Open title recently.”
There was a winning start, too, for Leeds pair Jenny Wallwork and Gabby White in the women’s doubles. The world No 20 pair defeated Canada’s Milaine Cloutier and Valerie
St Jacques 21-3 21-14 to earn a likely second-round clash with 10th seeds Petya Nedelcheva of Bulgaria and Anastasia Russkikh of Russia.
They were expected to overcome France’s Laura Choinet and Weny Rasidi in their first-round clash later today.
BADMINTON England Press Release
Monday August 23
The Yonex BWF World Championships begin in the Coubertin Stadium on Monday with the finals on Sunday week.
For updates on England’s players and other results check out www.tournamentsoftware.com or www.badmintonengland.co.uk
Today and tomorrow’s schedule for England players
Men’s singles 1st round:
Tomorrow, 11.00am: Carl Baxter (Avon) v Mikal Matejka (Svk)
Men’s doubles 1st round:
Today, 6.10pm: Nathan Robertson & Anthony Clark (both Notts) v (10) Tony Gunawan & Howard Bach (USA)
Men’s doubles 2nd rd:
Tomorrow, 5.15pm: Chris Langridge (Surrey) & Robin Middleton (Yorks) v (4) Guo Zhendong & Chen Xu (Chn)
Today, 3.15pm: Chris Adcock (Notts) & Gabby White (Yorks) v (9) Diju V & Jwala Gutta (Ind)
Tomorrow, 10.35am: (15) Nathan Robertson (Notts) & Jenny Wallwork (Yorks) v Valeriy Atrashchenkov & Elena Prus (Ukr)