Rajiv Ouseph left everything out on the court, bouncing back from semi-final disappointment to add another Commonwealth Games bronze medal to his impressive collection.
Already a Gold Coast bronze medallist from the team event, European champion Ouseph went into Saturday’s last four-match aiming to keep alive his hopes of at least matching his men’s singles silver medal from Delhi eight years ago.
It was not to be as he went down to Indian top seed Srikanth Kidambi 21-10 21-17 in just over half an hour.
But all was not lost, as Ouseph returned to the court later in the day to turn his fortunes around in dramatic style, saving two match points against Kidambi’s compatriot HS Prannoy to take bronze.
That came courtesy of a 17-21 25-23 21-9 scoreline as his stunned opponent struggled to recover from missing out on the chance to wrap up the match in the second game.
"I was disappointed after this morning, but I managed to pick myself up,” said 31-year-old Ouseph.
"In the bronze-medal match I was down in the second, and I just thought that there is no point in saving myself.
“I was lucky to win the second; we both had game points. It was very tense, but I was happy to pull through.
"The momentum went in my favour, I think he was kind of down on himself. I just tried to keep getting points as quick as possible to finish the game, so I am very happy."
After losing the first game, the match burst into life towards the end of the second game as each opponent had two chances each to seal the deal before Ouseph finally came through at the third time of asking after some impressive shot-making.
And he carried that momentum over into the decider, at one point enjoying a 12-point lead before needing just one match point to take bronze.
That medal represented Ouseph’s fifth Commonwealth Games podium finish after also winning mixed team bronze and silver in 2010 and 2014 respectively.
“I got two bronze medals. I would have liked more, but in the grand scheme of things I am very happy,” he added.
"I would like to thank the whole team here because without them it is not possible to play."
Photo: Badminton Photo
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