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.”

News
peoplePair enliven the Emirates bore-draw
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark episode 8, review
News
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband (R) and Boris Johnson, mayor of London, talk on the Andrew Marr show in London April 26
General electionAndrew Marr forced to intervene as Boris and Miliband clash on TV
Arts and Entertainment
Ramsay Bolton in Game of Thrones
tvSeries 5, Episode 3 review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence