Rajiv Ouseph is determined to exorcise the demons of the London 2012 Olympics when the All England Open Badminton Championships get underway in Birmingham.
Ouseph claimed his sixth straight men’s singles title at the English Nationals last month and will make his first international appearance on home soil since London 2012 at the NIA.
Last summer’s Olympics were a chastening experience for Ouseph as he failed to qualify from his preliminary group after a gut-wrenching loss to Guatemala’s Kevin Cordon.
And, while Ouseph admitted to a post-Games lull, the 26-year-old is itching to set the record straight when hostilities resume in Birmingham.
“I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel after the Games,” said Ouseph – who will face India’s Anand Pawar in the first round of qualifying in the West Midlands.
“It was a weird experience going back to regular tournaments but since 2013 has come I have played well and hopefully winning the Nationals was the start of things to come for me.
“I’m playing well and I should qualify for the main draw. If I manage to do that it will be a case of taking each game at a time as everyone in the draw will be very tough.
“It is very well entered this year, everyone is there apart from [world and Olympic champion] Lin Dan.
“So if I can use my experience from last year where I did well, and from the other events I have been to, I hope to do the same.
“It will be the first time I have played internationally on home soil since the Olympics so the whole squad wants to go out and put on a good show.
“For me the expectation and pressure was something nobody can prepare you for and now that I have that I can use it in a positive way going into this tournament.”
© Sportsbeat 2013