A COMPOSED Sonia Cheah Su Ya kept up her steady performances to stay in contention for a ticket to Singapore for the inaugural Youth Olympics in August.
Yesterday, she won two matches to reach the fourth round of the Asian junior championships’ girls’ singles competition.
She defeated Pham Nhu Thao of Vietnam 21-8, 21-2 and then blew away South Korean Kang Ga-hee 21-13, 21-13.
The 17-year-old Kuala Lumpur lass will take on Castilo Gelita of the Philippines for a place in the quarter-finals and victory should give her a match against China’s Deng Xuan.
Only the top five players from the girls’ and boys’ singles competitions of the Asian Juniors qualify for the Youth Olympics. And Sonia is delighted that she has taken a step closer to making it.
“I want to be among the five to make the cut,” said the lanky Sonia, who stands at 1.73m tall. “The Youth Olympics is the biggest tournament for juniors and I want to be part of it. Making the semi-finals will guarantee me a place and I will go all out to achieve it.”
Sonia is the sole Malaysian remaining in the girls’ singles competition following the exits of three others – Lim Yin Fun, Ng Sin Er and Yang Li Lian.
The fifth-eighth seeded Li Lian was disappointed after losing 10-21,16-21 to unseeded Chiang Mei-hui of Taiwan in the third round yesterday.
However, she has one more shot at coming good in the Asian Juniors in the girls’ doubles event. Partnering Sonia, they are through for a match against India’s Ghate Gauri-Sawant Prajakta to qualify for the quarter-finals.