RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug. 12 (Xinhua) -- Robert Mateusiak and Nadiezda Zieba of Poland waited four years to avenge their narrow loss to Xu Chen and Ma Jin of China in the badminton mixed doubles quarterfinals of London 2012, and at the age of 40 and in his fifth Olympic Games, Mateusiak knew he would not get another chance.
The Polish pair produced the biggest upset of the fledgling Rio 2016 badminton competition on Friday morning to erase the memories of the match point they held against the same pair in London, when they narrowly lost in the third game.
"What can I say? It's such a shame that this game did not finish like this four years ago," Mateusiak said after the 13-21, 21-9, 21-19 win. "It is so sweet. Of course we are so happy because if we had lost this game we would have been out. It is my fifth and last Olympic Games and I don't want to finish like this."
After losing the first game on Friday but bouncing back to take the second, the Polish pair opened up a series of two-point leads only to be hauled in by Xu and Ma, who are ranked seven places above them at No. 6 in the world. "We were leading 19-17, 20-18 and then 20-19 and I said 'OK, it's this shuttle, now or never'. I really waited for this shuttle and finished it with my favorite drive."
The painful memory of defeat four years ago was not the only thing Mateusiak wanted to put to bed on Friday.
"I am so happy that I have 24 hours' break now because I am so tired. I could not sleep after the game yesterday, maybe only three hours. So now I need a good break, to take a physio and forget about this game."
Mateusiak made his Olympic Games debut at Sydney 2000 but has never progressed beyond the quarterfinals in men's or mixed doubles in five attempts to date.
Zieba commended the professional approach of her partner, who is eight years her senior.
"I think there are not so many people in sport like this. He is the best, actually," Zieba said. "He cares about his food, his rest; everything. He is still very fast and at a high level."
Zieba will retire with Mateusiak from competition after Rio 2016 to have another baby.