National women’s singles coach Datuk Tey Seu Bok has not ruled out Soniia Cheah winning a medal of in the 30th SEA Games in the Philippines in the absence of defending champion Goh Jin Wei who withdrew due to health reasons.
The badminton team left for Manila on Friday afternoon – with high hopes although the initial target of two gold medals from the shuttlers has been brought down to one after Jin Wei was ruled out on medical grounds following surgery recently.
At the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games, Malaysia’s medal tally was one gold, five silvers, and two bronze. Jin Wei won the only old for Malaysia, defeating Soniia 21-11, 21-10 in an all-Malaysia final.
In Manila, the lanky Soniia ranked No 32 in the world leads Malaysia’s challenge together with Lee Ying Ying and S. Kisona.
”I admit that inconsistency has been the main drawback for Soniia. If she can check her yo-yo form she can be a threat to her rivals. She has put in a lot of effort into her training in the last 10 days and I am quite impressed with that.
“I will not rule her out in Manila. She is capable of winning a medal…any color. Soniia has the height advantage and she should make full use of this,” said Seu Bok before leaving with the team.
At the 2017 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia lost both, the men’s and women’s team finals. The men lost 3-0 to Indonesia in the gold medal match while the women fell 3-1 to Thailand.