Badminton blow for Britain
July 31, 2012 20:11 pm
The London 2012 Olympic badminton competition is over for Great Britain after the country's remaining two players slumped out on day four at Wembley Arena.
The biggest disappointment was the elimination of Rajiv Ouseph, the world number 25, in the men's singles as he lost to a player ranked 13 places below him in Guatemala's Kevin Cordon.
Susan Egelstaff was not expected to beat Japanese 12th seed Sayaka Sato but had an opportunity to spring a surprise before losing in three games.
Chris Adcock and Imogen Bankier, already eliminated in the mixed doubles, could not deliver a consolation win either, losing their dead rubber to Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei.
The results mean none of the Britons made it to the knockout stages and the supporters will have no home players to cheer for the last five days of competition.
Ouseph will feel the greatest sense of disappointment from the singles having put himself on course for a place in the last 16 by making a flying start in his final group match.
But in what has become a recurring theme for the hosts' team at these Games, he was unable to hang on and lost 12-21 21-17 21-19.
Ouseph recovered from a three-point deficit early in the third game to lead 14-11 but wastefully smashed an easy-looking winner into the net.
That reprieve gave Cordon belief to go on and bring Ouseph's Olympic debut to a premature end.
Hounslow player Ouseph, 25, said: "When it got towards the end of the game I made some silly choices. "I had a chance at 19-18 but I didn't take it."
Ouseph felt he was unfortunate in playing at a time when the air conditioning, which is only being used sporadically because it affects shuttlecocks, was turned on.
He said: "I was on this side of the hall which is very difficult to hit out at. There was a big drift at the end where I finished up the match."
World number 38 Egelstaff felt she could leave with her head held high after fully extending an agitated Sato before losing 18-21 21-16 21-12.
Sato actually had reason to be riled after being on the wrong end of a number of dubious line calls but her complaints to the umpire upset her rhythm and Egelstaff capitalised.
The Scot had a chance to press for victory in the second game but at 16-15 down, Sato produced a fine drop shot and did not look back as she closed out a place in the last 16.
Egelstaff missed four months of the qualifying campaign after shattering her thigh bone last October and was pleased just to have made it to the Games.
The 29-year-old Glaswegian said: "I'm disappointed to lose but I feel like I gave it everything. I don't think I could have given any more.
"I played really well but I couldn't have done anything else, she was just a bit better than me at the end."
Sato's body language often conveyed the impression of someone feeling permanently wronged and Egelstaff felt some of her antics equated to gamesmanship.
Yet she did not feel that or the line controversies affected her performance.
She said: "I got some excellent line calls! I am not calling the lines, what can you do?
"I complain as well sometimes. Good players are not going to let runs of points go against them, they are going to try something.
"I coped with that okay. Sometimes it can be a distraction but it is part of sport, gamesmanship. I'd probably do the same."
Adcock and Bankier were unable to rouse themselves after the disappointment of their elimination on Sunday.
Their frustrating tournament was summed up when Bankier was shown a yellow card for misconduct for taking too long to take a drink.
Temperatures in the arena have risen as high as 30 degrees during periods when the air conditioning is off.
Adcock said: "It's so hot out there you do need drinks. It's quite easy to sit in an umpire's chair without having a drink but when you are running around under those lights you do need a drink."
Bankier said: "I told him I was exceptionally thirsty."
Zhang and Zhao won with ease 21-13 21-14.
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