Having taken one step at a time to heal from her Achilles tendon surgery, former national No. 1 woman shuttler Sonia Cheah is ready for her first international tournament in 19 months – the Iran International Chal*lenge from Feb 12-15.
She had undergone four operations at the Kuala Lumpur Sports Medical Centre (KLSMC) in Damansara Heights following a ruptured Achilles tendon in August 2013 due to injuries and infections. But the long layoff has done nothing to douse the fire in her belly.
“I’m glad that I’ve been given the green light to compete in an international tournament,” said the 21-year-old Sonia, who received a surprise visit from National Sports Institute (NSI) chief executive officer Datuk Dr Ramlan Aziz at Stadium Juara in Bukit Kiara on Friday.
“I’m in good shape now ... I have to work harder on my fitness.
“I’m excited but anxious as well. It’s not easy to get back to the top after going through so many ups and downs in the last 19 months. I’ll be happy if I can reach at least the semis in Iran.”
Sonia was in outstanding form prior to her injury and even starred for Malaysia in the Axiata Cup in 2013. She also did quite well in several Open tournaments.
But the long break through injury has seen Sonia, who was once ranked 32nd in the world, having no position in the world rankings now.
Although she will have to start from scratch, Sonia, however, is quietly hoping to get back to her best and represent the country at the Olympic Games one day.