Ouseph made to sweat before claiming seventh badminton title

Familiar figure: badminton ace Rajiv Ouseph

Familiar figure: badminton ace Rajiv Ouseph

First published in Sport by

RAJIV Ouseph made it seven men’s singles in a row at the English National Badminton Championships on Sunday, but he wants more players to try to knock him off his perch.

All eyes were on Ouseph after he had claimed the last six titles.

But, after storming into Saturday’s semi-final without losing a game, it looked as though Ouseph’s impressive run was going to come to an end as Ben Beckman had two match points.

However, he fought his way back to book his place in the final, where he beat Sam Parsons with relative ease, 21-9 21-8.

Having beaten Carl Baxter in the previous six finals, Ouseph admitted it was nice to see a different face at the other end of the court. He hopes this is the norm, rather than the exception, in future championships.

“Ben played really well, but I let him take control of the game," said Hounslow ace Ouseph. "So, I tried to put that right in the final and I was pretty dominant.

“I knew I was the favourite for the tournament, and that’s what I was thinking about in the second set against Ben.

“I didn’t want to go out in a shock result, I didn’t want to lose that way - and to come through that situation is very pleasing for me.

“I’ve seen Sam come to Milton Keynes a couple of times for training and he’s played really well this week. For him to beat Toby [Penty, second seed] in such a close match in his semi-final shows he’s got a lot of character.

“I’m looking for these guys to keep pushing me and do well internationally in the next couple of years.”

Next up for Ouseph is the European Championships in Basel later this week.

Tickets for the Yonex All England Open Badminton Championships at the NIA in Birmingham are available at www.allenglandbadminton.com or call the box office on 0844 444 9994.

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