Soniia has not played a single game but already a 'winner'


File photo of Malaysia's women singles shuttler Soniia Cheah in action against Thailand's Intanon Ratchanok during the SEA Games team event semi-finals match at Muntinlupa Sports Complex in Manila. The Malaysian lost. IZZRAFIQ ALIAS/ The Star.

PETALING JAYA: Whether Soniia Cheah can pull off a shocker in her decisive Group N battle against overwhelming Thai favourite Ratchanok Intanon on Wednesday – she's already a 'winner'.

The 28-year-old displayed great sportsmanship by taking to her Instagram to express sympathy for her opponent Laura Sarosi moments after the Hungarian conceded a walkover due to an Achilles injury.

Soniia was in no mood to celebrate as she knew how devastating it could be after experiencing it in 2013.

The injury sidelined her for nearly two years before she could get back on her feet.Yesterday, Soniia was preparing to head to the Musashino Forest Sport Plaza when she got a text message from coach Hendrawan about her opponent's misfortune.

"I really feel sorry for her, I could feel the pain too because she's suffering from the same injury I had many years ago," said Soniia, when contacted yesterday.

"It's even more painful that this had to happen at the Olympics. That's why I decided to put up an Instagram post to show my sympathy and support.

"It's a shame that the match could not take place. Honestly, I really wish I could play her and go for a win."

Asked if having one less competitive match could affect the showdown against Ratchanok, she said: "Obviously I would have wanted to have a warm up match before facing Ratchanok, but then again, we've got no control over things like this.

"I'm the only Malaysian shuttler who has not played a single match yet. But I have been trying to keep myself busy with training and workout.

"Since I didn't get to play today, I'm going to get a good rest and get ready for tomorrow (Wednesday)."

Only the group winner qualifies for the last 16.

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