While Sayaka Sato of Japan celebrated her three-set victory, Susan Egelstaff was suffering both the pain of defeat and the immediate intimation of a changed future.
"I walked off and said to myself: 'That is the last game of badminton I will every play'. I knew that for definite. That was on July 31 and I have not wanted to pick up a racket since. That says it all."
The road that started as a nine-year-old had ended 21 years later at the highest level of the sport. Yet Egelstaff waited until yesterday to announce her official retirement from the sport. "I was aware that my emotions were all over the place and there is always the danger that you are not thinking straight after all the stress and hype of making the Olympics. But I became even more convinced that I should retire. It's over."
The child from Newton Mearns became a significant citizen in the badminton world. She reached a global ranking high of 19, won Commonwealth bronze in the team event in Manchester in 2002, a bronze in the singles in Melbourne in 2006, took seven international titles and earned 90 caps.
Fundamentally, she has been a professional athlete for 14 years, though she did also graduate with a degree in psychology from Stirling University. This educational achievement is intriguing for Egelstaff is a positive thinker of Olympian proportions. She is so sunny that the unwitting interviewer is tempted to don shades.
Her retirement is described thus: "I am not sad because I think I am making the right decision and I am excited about doing other stuff."
And has she any regrets? "Never. I do not look back in that way. I was paid to play badminton, travel the world. How good is that? You learn from the bad times and get better. Why have regrets? You just have to do something about what you can control. The past is gone. There were moments when I was playing badly and I would start saying to myself that my life was so terrible and all that rubbish. But being a professional athlete is just the best job."
But what about the sacrifices?
"I have given things up. I do not drink that much and do not go out that often. But that is not really sacrifice. I would do it all a million times over. I did not want to be normal. I wanted to play sport at the top level and I wanted to go to the Olympics. I did that so who cares about giving up a few things."
The decision to retire, though, does bring her back to some dark moments. She states bluntly that the road to Glasgow 2014 was too long to contemplate. "If I could just click my fingers and it was 2014 then that would be great. But I know what it takes to compete at the highest level. I could not just have gone to the Commonwealth Games for the tracksuit."
Her thoughts are influenced heavily by her struggle to qualify for London 2012. Egelstaff suffered a knee injury a year ago that required surgery, thus ensuring Olympic qualification was the severest of trials. She made it but it left a scar on more than the knee. "I know how hard it is to go on. I spent nine hours a day doing rehab, doing the most monotonous, tedious and draining exercises. Two years of that for Glasgow is just too long."
The Olympic experience, though, was worth every second of mental and physical pain. "Every time I see anyone talking about London or any clip of the action I always get excited by remembering that I was there."
It was the pinnacle of her career and she played well, winning one match in a tough section before contemplating that long walk into the sporting sunset.
Egelstaff, married to a sports brand manager and living in Clarkston, will devote her time to media work and to being an ambassador for Badminton Scotland. Her retirement will be accompanied by a sense of gratitude that goes beyond the realisation that badminton gave her paid employment for 14 years. "It has certainly toughened me up." she says. "You have to learn to be resilient, to be able to take defeat, learn from it and move on. You have to be able to take criticism too."
She tells a tale about struggling when returning from her knee injury. "I was toiling on defence in training and was almost in tears. My Chinese coach approached me and asked why I was getting upset. I was thinking that she was usually so tough and this was a softer side of her I had not seen."
This notion was almost immediately dispelled. "Then she basically told me that she could not understand why I was so upset when my defence had always been crap." This anecdote is accompanied by a huge laugh.
She concedes she is leaving an arena where she is well-known for an uncertain future in the world. "I have never had a job interview and now I will be faced with the big question: 'Who are you?' "
A successful and testing career on court has given her the self-knowledge to answer that question with some certainty.
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