C’WEALTH GAMES R64 – Never say never

Many players are playing out of their main discipline at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, and whilst that cost India in the team tournament, for others it is paying dividends as […]

Many players are playing out of their main discipline at the Glasgow , and whilst that cost India in the team tournament, for others it is paying dividends as they progress further than expected. The friendly games are keeping smiles on peoples faces yet.

By Michael Burke, Badzine Correspondent, live from Glasgow.  Photos: Yohan Nonotte for Badmintonphoto (live).

Third seeded Rajiv Ouseph of England returned to the arena the morning after being crowned team silver medallist, returning with a win against Zambia’s Chongo Mulenga (pictured left).

Asked whether last night’s success had any effect on his performance, “It’s a different event. Nice to get off to a solid win, I’m still hitting it well. Pretty tired from last night, but good to get the first game out of your system.”

However whilst Rajiv was not particularly challenged, Mulenga put in a performance Rajiv rated highly, “For 15 he’s definitely not bad at all!”

For his part, Chongo said that he enjoyed playing against the higher ranked player, “I just had to play my game, I enjoyed playing him. I still need to improve my game, to train hard to improve my junior ranking.”

The Zambian, whose long-term ambitions may see him study medicine in the Netherlands, says Glasgow has been a good experience for him, “The weather, the atmosphere, it’s all been great. And the facilities are perfect.”

Sixth seeded Derek Wong, who was strangely not included in the team for the team bronze medal match, cruised through to the next round, and later on fifth seeded R.V. Gurusaidutt was similarly untroubled en route.

Sahir Edoo (pictured right) of the Mauritius, normally a doubles player progressed in a tight match against Palmer of Jamaica.

Edoo was ecstatic after. “It was a tough game, I’m normally not a singles player but we thought that it’s a big event, so why not?”

The opportunism paid off for Sahir, “We’re a very small island, just being here is a big thing, but winning even one match is a great victory for us.”

The upset of the day saw Kiwi Joe Wu exit against Buwaneka Dullewa (pictured left) of Sri Lanka, a player ranked more than 400 places lower in the world.

Sri Lanka got yet more success after the narrow progression ahead of New Zealand in the team competition. Dullewa said afterwards of the team performance overall, “We’re all really happy because the Commonwealth Games is a big tournament.”

“He was more experienced than me, I did a lot of mistakes when I was 20-16 up as I was getting excited.”

The Kiwi disappointment wasn’t followed by the Australians however as Verdet Kessler (pictured right) was untroubled against Barbados’ Mariama Eastmond.

“Overall I think I’ve been playing well, I just need to maintain my concentration – the second set drifted a little for me.”

Kessler has had a break since the team competition, “I was a little disappointed not to play in the quarters, the guys had been playing a high level but just didn’t come up with on the day, but sometimes that happens in sport so you just have to deal with it.”

She’s ensured this time round that she will definitely get the chance to play another game however as all the athlete’s get a second bite.

The full results for the day can be found here.

About Michael Burke