KUALA LUMPUR: It’s time for Malay-sia’s sleeping giant Lydia Cheah (pic) to rise and be counted as a reliable women’s singles player in the national team.
And the 20-year-old Lydia has promised to do so in the Laos SEA Games competitions, which will be held from Dec 10-17.
“The SEA Games is my last chance to achieve something good this year,” said Lydia, who has fallen into a slumber in her two years in the senior ranks.
“I do not want to end the year with another disappointing result. I will try my best to go as far as possible and create some upsets.”
Lydia was a quarter-finalist in her Games debut in Korat in 2007.
The towering Lydia was seen as the emerging power of Malaysian women’s singles badminton when she finished as the runner-up in the 2007 Asian Junior Championships.
There were high expectations on her but she fared miserably on every platform to launch her career in the senior ranks.
Lydia has great talent but her inconsistency due to injuries had hampered her progress.
With China constantly producing new talent, Lydia will have to start getting her acts right. Otherwise it may be too late for her to make the breakthrough as a force to be reckoned with.
“The first year was a struggle as it was a transition from a junior to a senior player. And the second year did not get any better for me,” said Lydia.
“I work hard in training but the back problem is making it harder for me. I do get treatment regularly. Hopefully, things will be better for me. A good results in Laos will certainly give me the confidence to face the challenges next year with optimism.”
The unseeded Lydia has been drawn in the same half as second seed Adriyanti Firdasari of Indonesia, Singapore’s Zhang Beiwen and world junior champion Intanon Ratchanok of Thailand.
The other half has top seed Salakjit Ponsana of Thailand, Malaysian Wong Mew Choo and Indonesian Maria Kristin Yulianti.