Sonia passes tough test, Malaysia reach mixed team final

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DEFENDING champions Malaysia reached the mixed team final after a thumping 3-0 win over England.

And it was debutant Soniia Cheah who stole the show.

Soniia passed her test with flying colours when she defeated Chloe Birch 21-17, 15-21, 21-18 in an energy-sapping match to give Malaysia a comfortable 2-0 lead.

Earlier, Rio Olympic Games silver medallists Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong outclassed Chris Langridge-Marcus Ellis 21-9, 21-11 in the men’s doubles to give Malaysia the first point.

And veteran Lee Chong Wei did his part when he clinched the winning point after beating Rajiv Ouseph 21-18, 21-16 in the men’s singles.

Malaysia will take on India in today’s final.

Sonia was happy with her win although she hurt her ankle during the match.

She endured a scare when she slipped in the second game but after medical attention, the fired-up Soniia went on to beat her opponent.

“I’m not sure how bad it is but I’ll get it treated. I’m feeling the pain now. But, I’ll be playing tomorrow (against India),” said the determined player.

“It’ll be tougher against India as I may face Saina Nehwal.

“The whole experience of being here in Gold Coast has been awesome for me.

“For now, I’ll be happy to win a gold for Malaysia in the team event,” she added.

A jovial Chong Wei, enjoying his third Commonwealth Games outing, said they would not take India for granted.

“Our team are in high spirits and we’ll go all out. We’re all fired up to defend the team gold,” said the 35-year-old.

“I can’t believe that at this age, I’m still able to play for Malaysia in a big Games like this.”

Chong Wei will play either K. Srikanth or H.S. Prannoy today. Based on the head-to-head record, India may field Prannoy as he has beaten Chong Wei twice before.

“I’ll be ready to face anyone,” added Chong Wei, who has a total of four gold medals from two Commonwealth Games in 2006 Melbourne and 2010 New Delhi.

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