Radlett’s Helena Lewczynska is eyeing up a podium place on the international stage after a fine run to the women’s singles quarter-finals at the English National Badminton Championships on Saturday.
The singles have admittedly not been the 21-year-old’s focus so far this season, but the number seven seed battled through against doubles partner Alex Langley to reach the weekend’s play at stadium:mk in Milton Keynes.
Her challenge was eventually ended by fourth-seed Nicola Cerfontyne 21-7 21-18 – yet the Leeds University student believes she was close to taking it down to the wire.
And although the doubles remain the priority, Lewzczynka is confident her performance can act as a springboard heading into the rest of the season.
“I’m looking to play in some more internationals this season – I want to see if I can prove myself and maybe medal in mixed or (women’s) doubles,” she said.
“That’s my goal for the rest of the season really.
“I’m focusing on the doubles but there’s not as much pressure on my singles and I really enjoy it, so I’m just going to keep going with all three.
“I started a bit slowly, wasn’t really used to the hall but I got into it in the second part so I was happy how I played.
“I was ahead in the second end but then I slipped back, I’m not that fit at the moment with my singles and I think that let me down a little bit.
“Overall it’s gone very well, I was surprised to be seeded but I was happy I got through my first rounds.”
The youngster may not have matched her success in the doubles but she and Langley pushed former Olympic silver medallist Gail Emms and Ella Tripp all the way in a second round 21-17 21-19 defeat.
Emms and Tripp made their debut in the tournament two decades ago and Lewczynska insists it was a fantastic opportunity to learn from the best.
“I was playing with Alex Langley in the doubles and we lost to Gail Emms and Ella Tripp, it was a tough draw but again it was a close match,” she added.
“It was great to play Gail as she is so quick around the net, we learned loads so it was a good experience.”
Tickets for the Yonex All England Open Badminton Championships at the NIA in Birmingham are available at www.allenglandbadminton.com or call the box office on 0844 444 9994.