England number one Rajiv Ouseph won the ninth national title of his career today at the Everyone Active English National Badminton Championships in Winchester – and it leaves him on the brink of matching Darren Hall’s mens singles record of 10 wins.
Ouseph, who has missed the last three stagings of the Nationals through a combination of injury and personal circumstance, made a welcome return to the Nationals scene for the first time in three years when he entranced the Westgate Badminton Centre as number one seed.
But unlike previous editions of the Nationals, the two time Olympian was genuinely made to work for the trophy in Sunday’s final against Sam Parsons, himself a champion back in 2015.
Parsons, who like Ouseph was back in Nationals action after missing out last year, pushed Ouseph to tense three games before seeing the England number one run out 19-21, 21-13, 21-14.
Remarkably, it was just the fourth time in his 11 year nationals career that Ouseph has been forced to three games and just the second time he has needed to rally from one game deficit in a match.
Ouseph, whose first title came in 2008, last won the national title in 2016 in Derby and will have his heart set on matching Hall’s record – something that continues to inspire him.
Hall won a historic 10 titles in mens singles between 1986 and 1999.
CLICK HERE for a full list of champions the Everyone Active English National Badminton Championships, staged by Hampshire Badminton Association in Winchester.