Badminton: Team GB's last hope Rajiv Ouseph explains the importance of the poker face
Ahead of his match today Great Britain's Rajiv Ouseph says that a having a poker face is useful in badminton.
In the world’s fastest racquet sport, mind games are just as important as physical ability — and Londoner Rajiv Ouseph is relying on that for his final group stage badminton match today.
Ouseph, England’s No 1, is Great Britain’s last badminton hope after mixed doubles partners Chris Adcock and Imogen Bankier crashed out of the tournament. He was playing his last Group M match today against Guatemala’s Kevin Cordon at Wembley Arena after beating Swede Henri Hurskainen on Sunday.
Ouseph, 24, from Hounslow, said: “I’ve got quite a good poker face. I’m known for being able to keep my emotions very much in check, no one knows how I’m feeling, I can be winning or losing but keep it very much the same.
“There can be a lot of mind games going on between the players. When you’re about to serve, people will try to throw you off your rhythm by taking a walk. If you’re tired you can’t show that at all to an opponent.”
Adcock said “aggressive shouting”, making competitors “worry” when they serve, encouraging the “yips” and time-wasting were all part of the game’s strategy. Adock, 23, a professional for five years, said: “It’s a very aggressive sport and there’s lots of gamesmanship that goes on.
“There are cases of people being hit in the eye and they’ve been blinded so you have to be very aware.” China has some of the world’s best players and the fastest match smash — using a jump for extra power — belongs to Fu Haifeng, also playing tonight in the men’s doubles. Fu, silver medallist at the Beijing Games and now the world No 1, hit the shuttlecock at more than 206mph, close to Euro-star’s top speed.
Ouseph, who has won two championships this year, added: “One of my junior coaches got hit in the eye and he had to stay in hospital in Indonesia for two weeks.”
Ouseph’s parents will be in the crowd today. He said: “It’s very special for the Olympics to be in my home town and have all my family and friend in the crowd — I only live half an hour from Wembley Arena.”
Arsenal Champions League fixtures: Gunners to open with Dinamo Zagreb trip, plus daunting back-to-back Bayern Munich ties
Kevin De Bruyne to Manchester City: £58m deal hits the rocks as Wolfsburg admits they're 'in no rush' to sell former Chelsea midfielder
Pogba to Chelsea: Blues set to smash British spending record with £70m midfielder and £34m John Stones
Manchester City face another struggle to make an impact in Champions League
Paul Pogba to Chelsea: Transfer news live - John Stones latest, Gareth Bale and Neymar to Manchester United, Edinson Cavani to Arsenal
- 1 Hair loss explained: How and why men go bald
- 2 Game of Thrones season 6: Jon Snow theorists believe the Stark may have a twin sister
- 3 Artist takes LSD, draws herself over different stages of the 9-hour trip to show its effects
- 4 A pint of water every day is the key to losing weight, scientists say
- 5 Russia 'accidentally reveals' number of its soldiers killed in eastern Ukraine
Dresden riots: Protesters in Germany attack refugee buses shouting 'foreigners out'
France train shooting: US soldiers speak of the moment they stopped gunman and 'beat him until he was unconscious'
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn accused of 'deluding' young supporters with 'claptrap'
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith calls for urgent ESA overhaul as part of drive to cut down welfare costs