Friday 14 July 2017
Following on from his European triumph in Denmark earlier this year, Rajiv Ouseph has got the bit between his teeth and is eyeing up more medal glory when the World Championships kick off in Glasgow next month.
For England’s No.1 men’s singles player, a world title, along with an Olympic medal, remain the two big holes in his career record, something he hopes to part-rectify at the end of August.
Two years ago, things didn’t go the way 30-year-old Ouseph had planned when he suffered a first-round defeat at the last edition of the World Championships in Jakarta, losing in straight sets to Thailand’s Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk.
But since then, he has amassed plenty of experience to draw on - including a quarter-final finish at last summer’s Olympic Games in Rio - and he’s confident of a more positive outcome this time round at the Emirates Arena.
“I think for me it’s always been about doing well at World Championships and Olympic Games,” he said. “They are the two highlights in any year they occur.
“That might bring extra pressure but I always want to do well and having won the Europeans so close to home that’s a big thing I can use.
“I can draw on my Olympic experience and other big tournaments to help me. It’s a pressure environment and you want to do well so it’s using all those experience in a positive way.
“I think it’s a case of trying to learn from those bad experiences [at previous World Championships], not totally forgetting about them, but learning from the good ones too.
“Obviously doing well at the Europeans was a big boost. It was a great experience, especially in Denmark it’s a tough thing to do so I can take confident from that.
“It will hopefully stand me in good stead for Glasgow.”
Ouseph will return to the country of his European triumph for a final training block with the Danes as he ramps up his preparations for the World Championships.
He has fond memories of the Emirates Arena having won mixed team silver during the Commonwealth Games there back in 2014, and he’s hopeful he can add yet more moments to savour when he takes to the court next month.
“We got a team medal in the Commonwealth Games so there are good memories but it’s a total different event,” he added. “I like to draw on that positive experience.
“I would like to think there’s a friendly rivalry, the Scotland fans will give us support. I have played in the arena before, it’s a great venue and it will be good for the World Championships to be in Glasgow.
“The World Championships is one of the toughest events in the calendar. It’s all down to how well you play in that one week. I think that’s why this training block is crucial.
“How well you do at this tournament is season defining, and that’s the same for everyone.”
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Article written by Andrew Lawton, Sportsbeat
Photo credit: Badminton Photo