IT usually pays to listen to your body. National woman shuttler Soniia Cheah didn’t, and paid the price at the Philippines Sea Games.
Having picked up an ankle injury during her defeat by Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon in the women’s team semi-finals on Monday, Soniia should have pulled out from the women’s singles event at the Muntinpula Sports Complex in Manila yesterday.
Instead, the World No 32, fuelled by her desire to win a Sea Games medal, ploughed on.
This resulted in her suffering a second injury — hamstring — when she won the first game against World No 61 Thet Htar Tzuzar of Myanmar 21-18.
Undeterred, she played on and lost the second game 21-15.
Finally, common sense prevailed and Soniia, a silver medallist in the 2017 KL edition, retired with the Myanmar shuttler leading 12-5 in the third game.
“I carried on because I wanted to win a medal here... and now I am carrying two injuries.
“I had no choice but to retire in the third game (of the women’s singles) as my hamstring and ankle problems were affecting my court movement.
“I’m upset as I really wanted to do well in the individual event. I will now focus on recovery and return to competition next year,” said Soniia, who was Malaysia’s best bet to retain the gold following the withdrawal of defending champion Goh Jin Wei.
All hopes are now on S. Kisona to create a few upsets and return with a medal.
To do that, the World No 104 will have to raise her game a few notches after an unimpressive 18-21, 21-10, 21-15 win over Airah Albo of the Philippines yesterday.
Kisona will face third seed Gregoria Mariska Tunjung in the second round tomorrow.
National women’s singles coach Tey Seu Bock said: “Soniia’s exit is a blow as we were expecting a medal from her. But we still have Kisona and I hope she will be able to string a few upsets here.”
Meanwhile, World No 14 and second seed Lee Zii Jia overcame Singapore’s Koh Jia Wei 21-17, 21-10 to set up a second-round clash against Myanmar’s Naing Phone Pyae in the men’s singles tomorrow.
However, Soong Joo Ven crashed out after losing 21-17, 21-16 to Singapore rising-star Loh Kean Yew.
In mixed doubles, third seeds Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing overcame Singapore’s Terry Hee-Crystal Wong 21-12, 24-22 in the first round and will face Kedren Kittinupong-Supajirakul Puttita of Thailand next.