Soniia out to make a dif­fer­ence

New Straits Times - - Sport -

SONIIA Cheah does not want a re­peat of the 2013 Sudirman Cup, as the na­tional squad en­ter their fi­nal phase of prepa­ra­tion be­fore leav­ing for the bi­en­nial mixed team event in Gold Coast, Aus­tralia, to­mor­row.

The women’s sin­gles shut­tler, who was part of the Kuala Lumpur edi­tion four years ago, ad­mit­ted that it was hard to swal­low when Malaysia were knocked out in the group stage with­out win­ning sin­gle tie.

To make mat­ter worse, both Soniia and sin­gles team­mate Tee Jing Yi lost in their re­spec­tive matches to Tai­wan’s Tai Tzu Ying and Ger­many’s Olga Konon.

“2013 was not a good year and I don’t think we should re­visit that Sudirman Cup be­cause we did not do well.

“The women’s sin­gles un­for­tu­nately did not con­trib­ute a sin­gle point for our team then.

“This year I think is go­ing to be dif­fer­ent,” said Soniia, who is fight­ing to get back to her best af­ter suf­fer­ing an Achilles ten­don in­jury in 2013, just be­fore the World Cham­pi­onships in Guangzhou, China.

At this year’s Sudirman Cup, Malaysia are in Group 1C along­side Ja­pan and Ger­many.

The other women’s sin­gles in the squad is for­mer world ju­nior cham­pion (2015) and na­tional No 1 Goh Jin Wei.

“I be­lieve we can beat Ger­many but Ja­pan will def­i­nitely be our big­gest chal­lenge.

“How­ever, go­ing in as the un­der­dog against a Ja­panese team that boast of strong women’ sin­gles shut­tlers, I think we can give them a good fight and maybe steal a point for the team,” added Soniia.

Malaysia’s best ever re­sult since the in­cep­tion of the tour­na­ment in 1989 was reach­ing the semi-fi­nals in 2009 in Guangzhou. Fabian Peter

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