Rajiv Ouseph today made his long awaited return back from injury at the Yonex All England Badminton Championships in Birmingham, but it wasn’t to be for the English number one who was narrowly defeated by Hong Kong’s NG Ka Long Angus.
Ouseph, 30, was up against NG Ka Long Angus in the first round of the competition on Wednesday 8 March following a long spell on the side-lines through injury. However, Ouseph took the first game 21-19 after a spirited display by the man from London.
Ouseph played some spectacular shots and gave everything into the match, throwing himself all over the court in his bid to progress to the next round.
Yet it was the end of the road for England’s Commonwealth silver medallist from 2014 in this year’s tournament after losing the second and third games to NG Ka Long Angus.
“I knew it was going to be a very tough game, he is in the top 10 in the world, and I felt it slipped away from me in the second set. I had a little bit of control mid-way through but then he overtook me a little bit and when he did he gained pace and positivity and I didn’t hang in there as much as I should have.”
The Barclaycard Arena was full of fans cheering on Ouseph in Birmingham, support that Ouseph felt and enjoyed.
“We love to play in front of the fans, and obviously we like to win in front of them, but it wasn’t to be today.
“It’s great playing in front of the home crowd and nice to see a lot of young fans here today.”
Despite today’s defeat and recent injury, Ouseph has had a strong few of years since his Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth silver medal and is now feeling confident having returned from injury, with the 2018 Commonwealth Games on his mind.
“I am really looking forward to Gold Coast 2018, obviously we have a lot of tournaments between now and then, but it’s something to look forward to.
“I know that the men’s singles is very strong and is getting stronger and stronger which isn’t necessarily great but me but great for the Commonwealth Games and I am really looking forward to it.”