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Despite losses, British shuttlers cheered for persistence

(Xinhua)

09:17, August 01, 2012

LONDON, July 31 (Xinhua) -- Although the British shuttlers were ousted, crowd in the Wembley Arena were impressed by their performances Tuesday afternoon and persistence in pursuit of victory.

Rajiv Ouseph, who had been the biggest hope of the host in badminton after outgunning Henri Hurskainen from Sweden on Sunday, was beaten by Kevin Cordon from Guatemala in men's singles.

Seeded as No. 15, the 26-year-old dominated the first game 21-12, but the Guatemala's flag bearer in Beijing just appear as potent in the second one. Ouseph made such an endeavor by saving three game points, but lost at last 17-21.

In the decider, home crowd became fanatic, shouting and clapping to encourage their player. Ouseph, the Commonwealth silver medallist started well and ended the first half 11-9. He continued to lead in the second half and the score, 19-18, suggested that victory was just one shot away. But his mistakes granted his rival three points in a row. When shuttlecock flew to him for the last time, he made a fatal mistake, seeing it landing on the side line.

"I had my chance at 19-18 but I didn't take it," said the dejected Briton. "When it got towards the end of the game I made some silly choices.I think there was a bit of pressure but it's the same for every athlete at their home games."

Recognizing that the crowd being encouraging, he believed the Olympics a good experience. "It was my first Olympics and I am looking forward to the Commonwealth Games."

A British old man watching the competition showed his understanding. "He must be under great pressure at the end of the game," he said. "He can lash out good smashes, but he was soft in the second half (of the decider). He might be nervous."

Earlier on Tuesday, another British player, Susan Egelstaff saw her Olympic challenge coming to an end after playing the 12th seed Sayaka Sato.

The 28-year-old from Glasgow who have defeated Maja Tvrdy of Slovenia in her opener shocked the Japanese shuttler 21-18 in the first game. But Sato levelled the contest in the second set 21-16. In the decider, Sato, with overwhelming advantage, thrashed Egelstaff 21-12.

"Obviously I was disappointed to lost but I feel I gave it everything. I have played really well and I am pleased about that," she said. "Even in the second and the third games I don't think I played badly. She was just obviously good enough to change her game."

Mixed doubles pair Chris Adcock and Imogen Bankier met their Waterloo for the third time in front of Chinese Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei.

Already lost twice, the Anglo-Scottish world championship silver medallist had very slim chance for further advancement. But they showed persistence in their battle against the world No. 1 seed, working hard in each shot.

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