Ouseph wins tense Olympic opener

Hounslow’s Rajiv Ouseph won his opening group match of the Olympics badminton mens’ singles, seeing off Henri Hurkskainen of Sweden at Wembley Arena.

He edged a gripping first game and bounced back after a poor showing in the second to clinch a 22-20, 17-21, 21-15 victory.

It means a win against Kevin Corden on Tuesday will take him through to the knockout stage.

The 25-year-old British number one trailed 3-0 in the first game and then led 9-4 before Hurkskainen fought back to 12-12.

Mistakes by Ouseph then helped his opponent open up a 19-15 lead but the Londoner put together a brilliant run to win 22-20.

But he made a terrible start to the second game, again losing the first three points and quickly finding himself 10-2 down.

Hurkskainen shrugged off an attempted comeback to win 21-17 and set up a nail-biting final game.

This time Ouseph made a better start – and had better luck – with his more aggressive play helping him establish an 8-3 lead.

The Swede battled back to 12-10 but, roared on by his home crowd, Ouseph pulled away to clinch a hard-fought triumph.


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