# Soniia wins her first national title and gets the nod for Commonwealth Games

# Iskandar lands his second national title

Soniia Cheah showed why she is the country’s top woman singles shuttler with a 21-14, 21-19 win over S. Kisona to win the women’s singles title in the Celcom Axiata National Championships at Juara Stadium in Bukit Biara on Saturday.

There was more good news for the lanky Soniia when she was picked over Goh Jin Wei to next month’s Commonwealth Games which will be held in Gold Coast.

“This is certainly double delight for me. Apart from winning my first national title I am also named to the Commonwealth Games team. I have worked hard for my badminton career to be where I am today.

“I had a spate of career threatening injuries. Winning the national title is motivation for me to do well and help the country do well in the Commonwealth Games,” said Soniia.

It was also sheer joy for Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin. He beat Lee Zii Jia, the second ranked player in the country in straight games 21-19, 21-16 to virtually seal his place in the Thomas Cup team.

Zii Jia and Datuk Lee Chong Wei are already assured of their place in the team to the Thomas Cup Finals in Bangkok from May 20-27.

Just like Soniia it was similar journey for Iskandar who was also plagued by a series of injuries which nearly saw the Johorean quit the sport.

“It has been tough on me. Not many know what I went through. I will not rest on my laurels. There is still plenty of hardwork to be done. One thing is sure…I will be committed in wearing national colours with pride and dignity,” said Iskandar who also won the title in 2015.

As expected the men’s doubles crown went to Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong but the they were fully stretched by Mohd Arif Latif – Nur Azriyn Ayub before prevailing 21-17, 19-21, 21-15.

The women’s doubles went to Goh Yea Ching-Soong Fie Cho who defeated Chow Mei Kuan-Yap Cheng Wen 21-19, 22-24.

Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie took the mixed doubles title with a 21-17, 21-12 win over Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing in the final. – BY RIZAL ABDULLAH

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