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NZ's Moody Sets Higher Goals After Olympic Loss

New Zealand shuttler John Moody may have suffered a first-round loss at the Olympic men's singles competition.

But the Kiwi number one is hoping his brief appearance at the Beijing Games would have done enough to inspire the next generation of players from his home land.

He also hopes it will spur him to greater things in the future.

Badminton is very much a minority sport in a country where rugby union, cricket and sheep dominate the culture.

Moody is hoping his foray on to the world's greatest sporting stage can show others in New Zealand that they have the potential to reach the top.

He lost to 21-9, 21-11 China's world number four Chen Jin, who went on to win the bronze medal.

"It was one of those things where we saw the draw in New Zealand before we went, you don't want to say before you go, 'Oh I'm not going to win', but as it turned out Chen got the bronze medal and always was expected to," Moody was quoted as saying in the New Zealand Advocate.

"The thing is, with these top guys, when they play well they can make life difficult. There's a big difference between the top five and everybody else really and, as it turned out, it just showed out.

"But I am happy with the way I played. I did everything I could which is all you can do. In games like that you can only do what your opponent lets you do."

He has already set his sights on his next goal, which is the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India in 2010.

The Olympic experience would have strengthened his resolve and exposed him to the kind of skills needed to mix it with the big boys.

"I have just had a break and will reset some goals going forward to Delhi," he added. "The last two years have been pretty draining. I have been away seven months of the year training and competing, doing 20-25 tournaments a year. It's going to be a pretty quiet next few months for me, really just working out how to perform well in Delhi.

"The big goal is Delhi. At the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, I had a fantastic time. It was just amazing the amount of interest in China too and, in Delhi, I can't see it being any different."

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