Soniia Cheah is a name that may have completely slipped under the radar, but the women’s singles shuttler is ready to change all that as she prepares to mount a comeback at the BWF World Championships this August.
Cheah had not seen any competitive action on court since competing at the Tokyo Olympics last July due to an ankle injury and other commitments.
Besides training and coaching, she is also pursuing her studies full-time as she told Stadium Astro.
“It’s a different experience for me now. I have court training early mornings before class, and in between class breaks I’ll head to the gym for my physical training sessions.
“At the weekends I have coaching sessions from my academy. It is not easy to balance all these, but I am happy and feeling productive everyday, and enjoying the fulfillment of life,” she shared.
She picked up the ankle injury during her third game against Ratchanok Intanon at the Olympics, and when she sought medical treatment, she opted to rest to allow it to heal naturally instead of undergoing a surgery.
“I’m pretty excited to return. I’ve been working hard on it, in fact just completed an intensive training not too long ago.
“I’m feeling much better with my injury, but I’m taking it slow and trying to get back in shape for the World Championships,” she added.
Cheah is ranked 38th in Phase 1 qualifiers of the premiere event taking place from August 21-28 in Tokyo.
As of now, she is still the highest ranked national women’s singles shuttler at 39th.
In Cheah’s absence, the women’s singles affair turned into a fiercely competitive one with the rise of An Se-young and Pornpawee Chochuwong, besides the regular performers like Akane Yamaguchi and Tai Tzu-ying.
The 28-year-old acknowledged the fierce competition as she revealed her desire to get back into action as soon as possible.
“The level of the women’s singles is very competitive now. The speed is much faster. My target is just one match at a time, as I have not participated in tournaments for some time now.
“My priority is to get back into shape and perform as well as I can," she said.