KUALA LUMPUR: Lydia Cheah used to dream about playing in the All-England badminton competition during her junior days a couple of years back.
Now that it has become a reality, the lanky shuttler is determined to cherish every moment of her trip to the third-leg of the Super Series, which will be held in Birmingham from March 3-8.
The 20-year-old Lydia and Julia Wong are the only two Malaysian representatives in the women’s singles event of the All-England following the absence of Wong Mew Choo, who is working hard to recover from her knee and elbow injuries.
Lydia will begin her campaign in the qualifying tournament while Julia will start from the main draw.
“Finally, I will get to play in my first All-England. I have waited long enough for this opportunity and now I will try to stay in the tournament as long as possible,” said Lydia.
“Making the main draw is the main goal. But it will be even sweeter if I can score an upset win over one of the big names.”
But first, Lydia will be out to make an impact at the German Open, which will be held in Mulheim from Feb 24-March 1.
“This is a good platform to achieve good results. My goal is to reach at least the semi-finals. It will also put me in the right frame of mind for the All-England,” she said.
After getting off to an excellent start in the Super Series season opener in Malaysia, Lydia is all pumped up to make it big in the women’s singles event.
She scalped Hong Kong’s Yip Pui Yin to reach her first quarter-finals in an Open tournament at the opening Super Series leg in Malaysia.
Lydia has been showing progress since joining the senior team under the charge of Rashid Sidek last year. She trains under Teh Seu Bock.
One of her breakthrough performances last year was winning the Vietnam Challenge — her first international senior title.
“But if there is one thing that always dampens my spirit is my inconsistency. It can be quite frustrating to lose easily in a match after doing quite well in another,” she said.
Since the start of this year, she has been pushing herself harder in training in a bid to be more consistent.
“I need to be physically fit to be able to do well on a regular basis. But honestly, the training is really tiring. I guess I have to go through the hardship in order to reap the reward.”
If Lydia can maintain her form and avoid aggravating her back pain, Malaysia can look forward to more good results from the Kuala Lumpur lass.